Focus on What Won't Change

Originally published on on August 28, 2016 By Brian Wong
Focus on What Won't Change
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos,(pictured right) who seems to have mastered the question: “What isn’t going to change? (Photo: Getty Images)
Because technology changes so fast, we all see change as a constant these days. And in truth, it is.
Some things don’t change. Find them, and you can make a fortune.
Yet focusing solely on change is a trap that catches a lot of people. People today are obsessed with finding the next big thing. But there aren’t that many new big things.
Focus on What Won't Change.2One version of “the next big thing” is to take something that exists and update it. However, the competition to reinvent the wheel is fierce—and sometimes pointless. The wheel already works pretty well.
People who drop out of the new-new rat race and focus on what won’t change have a huge advantage.
This is something I learned from observing Jeff Bezos. When he came up with the idea of Amazon at the advent of Net commerce, he was thinking along the same general lines as a lot of people: “Shit’s going to change. Like crazy.”
But Bezos looked beyond the New and asked himself: “What isn’t going to change? Two things: (1) customers are going to continue to want the best possible bargain, and (2) they are going to continue to want it delivered as fast as possible.” The corollary to this logic was, “the only way I can go wrong is if people (1) start wanting to pay as much as possible and (2) insist on slow delivery.”
His brilliance is almost comical.
It’s no wonder that Bezos doesn’t worry too much about immediate profitability. He’s the whale in a sea of constantly shifting forces, sitting securely on solid ground in an essentially unglamorous business while everybody else tries to stay a oat on the choppy waters of change, racing each other to the new new, and capsizing every time the wind shifts.
If you’d rather be like Bezos, sitting pretty on the beach with an umbrella drink in your hand, look for classic, constant needs, classic styles, classic destinations, classic modes of expression, transportation, and communication. Tap into existing patterns of behavior. Classic will still be there long after the new new is old.
But look for the old classic with new eyes. Don’t see the trees; see the forest. Don’t see now; see forever. Don’t see countries; see the world.
Then start looking for how to make that world just a little bit better.
This post has been adapted from Brian Wong’s new book, “The Cheat Code: Going Off Script to Get More, Go Faster, and Shortcut Your Way to Success.” The book includes 71 bite-sized and virtually effortless short-cuts to get a leg up on the competition, garner attention for ourselves and our ideas, and accelerate our success.