Patrick Collison, cofounder of Stripe, keeps a log of “people quickly accomplishing ambitious things together”. Some of my favorite examples from his list:
The Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower was built in 2 years and 2 months; that is, in 793 days. When completed in 1889, it became the tallest building in the world, a record it held for more than 40 years. It cost about $40 million in 2019 dollars.
Apollo 8. On August 9 1968, NASA decided that Apollo 8 should go to the moon. It launched on December 21 1968, 134 days later. Source: Apollo Spacecraft Chronology.
iPod. Tony Fadell was hired to create the iPod in late January 2001. Steve Jobs greenlit the project in March 2001. They hired a contract manufacturer in April 2001, announced the product in October 2001, and shipped the first production iPod to customers in November 2001, around 290 days after getting started.
I’ve been on teams that have built things in record time. There’s nothing else like a a dedicated team motivated to ship amazing products on time.