What would it mean to prioritize design over chance?
Today, “good design” is an aesthetic imperative, and everybody from slackers to yuppies carefully “curates” their outward appearance. It’s true that every great entrepreneur is first and foremost a designer. Anyone who has held an iDevice or a smoothly machined MacBook has felt the result of Steve Jobs’s obsession with visual and experiential perfection. But the most important lesson to learn from Jobs has nothing to do with aesthetics.
The greatest thing Jobs designed was his business. Apple imagined and executed definite multi-year plans to create new products and distribute them effectively. Forget “minimum viable products”—ever since he started Apple in 1976, Jobs saw that you can change the world through careful planning, not by listening to focus group feedback or copying others’ successes.
Long-term planning is often undervalued by our indefinite short-term world. When the first iPod was released in October 2001, industry analysts couldn’t see much more than “a nice feature for Macintosh users” that “doesn’t make any difference” to the rest of the world. Jobs planned the iPod to be the first of a new generation of portable post-PC devices, but that secret was invisible to most people. One look at the company’s stock chart shows the harvest of this multi-year plan:
The power of planning explains the difficulty of valuing private companies. When a big company makes an offer to acquire a successful startup, it almost always offers too much or too little: founders only sell when they have no more concrete visions for the company, in which case the acquirer probably overpaid; definite founders with robust plans don’t sell, which means the offer wasn’t high enough. Also, read ” A Guide To Mobile App Development Costs “
Yahoo! offered to buy Facebook for $1 billion in July 2006. But Mark Zuckerberg walked into the board meeting and announced: “Okay, guys, this is just a formality, it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. We’re obviously not going to sell here.” Mark saw where he could take the company, and Yahoo! didn’t. WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT SILVERDALE honestly considers a business with a good definite plan will always be underrated in a world where people see the future as random.
YOU ARE NOT A LOTTERY TICKET
We have to find our way back to a definite future, and the Western world needs nothing short of a cultural revolution to do it.
Where to start?
John Rawls will need to be displaced in philosophy departments. Malcolm Gladwell must be persuaded to change his theories. And pollsters have to be driven from politics. But the philosophy professors and the Gladwells of the world are set in their ways, to say nothing of our politicians. It’s extremely hard to make changes in those crowded fields, even with brains and good intentions.
WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT SILVERDALE believes that startup is the largest endeavor over which you can have definite mastery. You can have agency not just over your own life, but over a ‘small and important part of the world. It begins by rejecting the unjust tyranny of Chance. You are not a lottery ticket.