What's next is now

Yesterday I had a thoughtful conversation with a friend about creativity and the cultural (and self-induced pressure) to try to keep pace with technology — and all the ways it enables us to produce extraordinary work and design a meaningful life.

It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from Jason Fried, the founder of the project management software Basecamp:

“What’s next is what’s now and what’s now is probably what’s next. Today’s weather is the best indicator of tomorrow’s weather. Things change, but not as much or as fast as most think. Focusing too much on the stuff that changes is why many companies lose their way. They’re always tripping over themselves as they try to keep pace with what’s new. People want what works, now what’s new.”

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who owns a minority stake in Basecamp, expands on Fried’s sentiment:

“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."

Bezos closes with this gem:

“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.”

Where are you investing your energy?