What's not going to change in the next 10 years?

Jeff Bezos via Farnam Street1:

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 our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘Jeff I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher,’ [or] ‘I love Amazon; I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.’ Impossible…When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.

I’m neither a Bezos nor an Amazon fan but this makes too much sense to ignore. It’s one of those “yeah of course” ways of thinking that, in my experience, is seldom used. Most places I’ve worked try (and fail) to predict the future to pad out their product roadmap.

  1. Farnam Street’s Brain Food newsletter. One of the few I keep around. ↩︎