We’re all obsessed with how uncertain the world is and how fast everything is changing. If we’re not careful, our focus can easily get dragged out of place. We can’t build businesses on chaos, but we can build them on the things that will stay the same. Don’t take it from me, Jeff Bezos said,
I very frequently get the question: “What’s going to change in the next 10 years?” And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: “What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?” And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.
In these uncertain times, we have to focus on what we need to do to adapt (yes, video chats have finally arrived in 2020), but more importantly, we need to not lose sight of what won’t change. In the service-based industries, it’s relationship building and maintenance, contact, understanding how to listen, understanding how to teach, and all of the same core skills our jobs have required since their invention.
It’s not enough to say the future will rhyme. We have to understand the cadence too. If we understand the core “sameness” that won’t change over the next 10 years, we can build businesses with high walls and deep moats to survive any level of uncertainty.
h/t Ben Carlson for reminding me of this Bezos quote