It is really hard to think long term about things. In business, and life it is so easy to think short term. A single quarter, a year. It is easy to lose sight of the land we are trying to reach when we are trying to stay above the waves. Doing what we need to get there requires the discipline to live in that future and bring everyone to that world view. It requires being misunderstood for a long time until you can show the world what you mean. It is okay to make mistakes and take the wrong trails while we are getting to that goal.
To build the future we must think Long-Term. Everything we do must be steppingstones and we must think decades into the future and work backwards. We need to implement the projects and experiments that will lead to our Vision being fulfilled. To do this we must constantly course correct, remove impediments in our way, and iterate and never be content with what we have. Always lay the seeds for tomorrow, but make sure the seeds you laid yesterday are bearing fruit and figure out why the ones that didn’t, didn’t. We need to simplify our Vision into smaller projects. Whether we tackle business or politics we need to stay below the waves thinking and working for the long-term while there maybe waves and storms above water.
And like a forest fire that clears out the underbrush so that the strong trees get more nutrients, we need to regularly clear out the underbrush to give more nutrients to our stronger trees. We will constantly evaluate what we are focused on and let loose those projects that may be better run independently, by others, or are no longer needed at all. We must learn to be objective and be okay with cutting ties with those things that don’t fulfill our Vision.
Life is evolution and we need to evolve with the tides. Our Vision requires a marathon not a sprint, we may win some and lose some but never lose sight of if we are winning the Infinite Game. We must improve 1% everyday with small constant changes, we must apply Creative Destruction to ourselves and our work, we must cast the first stone against ourselves and obsolete ourselves first. We must never be comfortable with what we have, it can all be ripped away, so we are constantly willing to sacrifice for better and always be willing to improve. We Must Evolve or Die.
Building for the Long-Term requires sacrifice and stamina and a fair bit of the Marshmallow Test. Not everything will be fun and to get to our Vision a lot of it is going to be shoveling shit. Things will be boring, monotonous and uninspiring but nothing great has been done in the world without hard work. It is important to get through things and resist changing things drastically when boredom sets. We need to find ways to chip away at the same thing over and over and get to where we need to go while addressing the monotony. For us to do this, we need to create routines, processes and automations that we will use to get us through things when things get tedious.
Consider the externalities when making decisions and performing action. We cannot stop ourselves from creating negative externalities, but we must seek for those short term pains to create long-term gains to Advance Humanity. Figure out how to reduce the negative externality and seek to remove it quickly.
We need to move at a steady measured pace while preventing burnout. We will implement work processes such as Scrum and Kanban to work at a measured pace with continuous improvement to create change. We will do Agile right not as a measure of people, but as a measure of the tasks that need to be done. Think Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
Our goal as a company is to reduce dopamine and cortisol and increase serotonin and oxytocin. No, we aren’t going to drug people. Dopamine and cortisol are products of short-term thinking, the highs of big risky wins, and the lows of heavy stress. Sure, they are exciting, but they are not good ways to build a long-term sustainable business. So our company in a sense has to be boring, it has to focus on long-term sustainable growth not huge risky spikes that may not last. We will optimize for serotonin and oxytocin; both are long-term thinking chemicals that the brain secretes for the wellness of the individual. We optimize for these.
Consider value over cost. If the value you are receiving is higher than the cost of using it or if it will lead to greater profit then that is value.
There are no easy hacks in life work smart and work hard.
“If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball” -Dodgeball, A True Underdog Story
We need to play the Infinite Game not the Finite Game. Growth for its own sake, moonshots, and other ideas are completely useless unless we believe them to Advance Humanity for the better. Every move we make we must consider not the money as the key result but how we will move Humanity to New Heights. We must advance the game from a different form of accounting which is how many potential people can we help with every move we make? How can we Deploy Ideas Faster? How can we democratize new technology? How can we help more people?
Disruption, or Disruptive Innovations, for disruption’s sake doesn’t matter. We have to be that a company has to lose for us to win. We can all grow the pie together. Disruption only considers breaking but it does not consider the creation.
An organization is here to provide value to the world, society and the people it takes care of. It is not to optimize profits for the shareholders. Our paradigm is to say that Milton Friedman is the cause of the ills of society that we are now facing. Short term thinking and optimizing shareholder value has ruined the earth and we must put an end to the baloney of his theories. We will not optimize for shareholder value, we will optimize for humanity and taking care of our people. We will not optimize for short term profits instead we will look to create long term value for society and as a side effect make money.
We must thrive in chaos and uncertainty. The only thing we are certain of is change, change breeds opportunities and we must learn to capitalize on those opportunities. We must build the company to be Anti-Fragile. It needs to survive whether things are going well, or things are going poorly in the world. We need to think hard about how we do things and always prepare for the worst. Chaos should not kill us; chaos empowers and emboldens us. We are masters of Chaos and use it for our benefit. Remember Sun Tzu, “Lure with bait, strike with chaos.” To achieve success in chaos we must kill things that don’t provide value. Don’t keep something to turn the wheels we must be nimble and be able to turn on a dime.
We do not strive for high risk, we take calculated bets that help us advance our game, playing at tables that give us a clear advantage. Attacking a large defense is pointless and wastes resources, find the weakness in the defenses and take aim there. This means 1% everyday will lead to revolutionary changes overtime. But we must start with First Principle to figure out where we even start playing. Figure out the game where the rules are in your favor, this is the First Principle decision. Figure out the 1-2 things that will give you 80% of the benefit and move to address that leading you to become the big fish in the small pond, expand from there.
Don’t be constrained by societal norms. Society and Culture are hackable, and we need to understand the Power Structures that are in play and how they advantage or disadvantage us. If we understand the Power Structures, we can Define the Rules of the Game or Play a Game where we always have an advantage.
If direct competition against them is impossible then change tables, so that you play has the advantage. To build a world where we fill our Vision of “Ideas Deployed Faster to Advance Humanity”, we must break and remold the old rules to favor us. We dance to our own tune, however, to do so we need to be disciplined. We must have self-mastery to make the rules for others and we must always consider the moral and ethical questions over the rules we change. The rules we change must be better for the world over the long run even if short term it is painful, and we must be disciplined to weather the short term ramifications.
There needs to be median for innovation when it comes to process. We can’t be 100% efficient we need time to be creative and have ways about thinking in problems in new ways. If we are 100% efficient we stagnate with any new ideas. This can’t happen in an innovative company.
Innovation needs a bit of chaos. It doesn’t grow by having complete order, but it doesn’t work completely in total chaos either. Innovation needs to fulfill a need and the wat to have that is to be somewhere in the realm of chaos and efficiency. We need slack in the system to come up with new ideas.
Make money run a long way. The best way to do this is to understand why you are doing something and what it will return and itmeans having financial intelligence to do the tasks necessary to get to our mission while figuring out where you are not going to be spending money.
Learn to curate. There are things which are commodities and there are things which have high value. The goal is to focus on the high value tasks where you can have a genuine advantage. Everything else don’t do or do it as a hobby not as a business. The primary goal of a business is to say no to a 99 things and focus on the 1 thing that gives a genuine advantage.
Figure out your strengths and weaknesses and really focus on your strengths. Externalize you weaknesses to those whose strengths are your weakness.
If evolution is the name of the game then capital is food for growth.
To Advance Humanity we cannot be sitting around accumulating cash. We need to put 90% of our Cash Flow into Growth. It is by making a lot of small bets in many opportunities that we can figure out what the best way to get to our Vision. Once we make a bet we will use Porter’s Competitive Strategy and Deming’s Continuous Improvement to evolve and optimize. We must understand a bet’s long-term outcome and that any bet we take may change overtime. We need to be able to step away if things are not working after a sufficient time period. We must not fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy.
Don’t be afraid to kill the Goose that once laid the Golden Egg. Eventually, it will die, or a competitor will commoditize it. We need to learn to kill ourselves to reinvent ourselves. Reinvent when something is broken or declining in function. If something is subpar, fix it! Every team needs to own what they have and make it better constantly. Sometimes the short-term investment in changing a standard can be painful, but the long-term benefit of reinventing can immense.
Grow without making the mistakes of the past. Growing while making former mistakes is a good way to fail from the pressure of failing to address past mistakes. Build and run things and ensure that they run the same tomorrow, by ensuring that we have a solid infrastructure that we build everything upon.
Operational Excellence means stability but it does not mean stagnation it means building on layers and building on a set of primitives each piece doing its part and doing it well such that the entirety can grow. It means constantly improving our performance and delivery cadence such that we delight our customers with how reliable and good we are.
Processes & Systems
We need to achieve operational excellence in everything we do. This means we need to figure out our success and mistakes and fix them. However, quality is in conflict with innovation so we must be somewhere in between Chaos and Process.
Everything we do is infrastructure and platforms. People will build off what we do. We must ensure that we support these things that are built by ensuring stability for those that build off us. Ensure that we can run things if possible forever and constantly improve those things as well so if we have customers we can maintain them. If we can’t we must try the best to migrate them to the new technology.
The only way to reduce cost is to focus on quality rahtner than on cost. By improving quality and standardizing we reduce the chance of error. By constantly improving we can make things better overtime reducing our overhead. Furthermore, to make