mindset, productivity

Overvaluing the Past

The biggest problem with business books us that they use historical data to arrive at conclusions about the future. In other words, they use the past to predict the future.

Books and University studies looking at the “top 10 attributes of successful companies” as if it will provide some practical insights. It’s just not true. There are numerous companies with identical attributes that failed. As well as numerous companies with the exact opposite traits that succeeded.

What these books and studies don’t do is focus on the here and now. Just because Elon Musk “uses his gut to make wild, ambitious goals” in the past does not means it is what made him successful. There are countless people who used their gut but fell flat on their face.

People are terrible at predicting the future for this very reason. Slicing and dicing the past does not offer much insight.

A better approach is to get an understanding of the market and you customer in their present state. Markets and people go through timelines. It’s your job to figure our where things are on that timeline. This is where you make the biggest impact.

From there you begin to design solutions; solutions that people are already paying to have solved.

The value of the past is zero.

Photo by Willian West on Unsplash

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