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How Business Can Win the Future

March 3, 2014

Marc Andreessen recently published his bullish take on the future of news and closed his piece by making some suggestions of how news organizations should approach the future.

Marc’s list of the qualities required for news organizations to face the future seems worthy of consideration for any business, irrespective of category.

Vision: The difference between vision and hallucination is others can see vision. It is critical to articulate a bright future with clarity that everyone can see.

Scrappiness: Tough challenges call for resourcefulness and pragmatism. You need to stay close to the ground, wallowing in every detail and all over any opportunity that arises.

Experimentation: You may not have all the right answers up front, but running many experiments changes the battle for the right way forward from arguments to tests. You get data, which leads to correctness and ultimately finding the right answers.

Adaptability: Ask yourself, would you rather be right or successful? That needs to be top of mind at all times because times change and we change. You want strong views weakly held.

Focus: Once you gain clarity from experiments and adaptation, then it’s time to focus on a small number of ultra-clear goals. When those are defined then it’s all-hands-on-deck.

Deferral of gratification: You need the stomach (and resources!) to reject near-term rewards for enduring success.

An entrepreneurial mindset: This is true both for new companies and existing companies. It’s a bit of a mantra. We own the company. We make the business. We control our future. It’s on us.

It’s an interesting mix of being disciplined, but also being flexible enough to understand that there are fewer certainties and you can only thrive by being nimble and open-minded.

It’s a nice guide of how to thrive in a fragile world.

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