Adonis Diaries

Predicting the Future, Delight the Weird, Hard work of understanding

Posted on: January 20, 2014

Predicting the Future, Delight the weird, Hard work of understanding

Seth Godin posted 3 short pieces.

Strategies for predicting the Future: Accuracy, resilience and denial

… three ways to deal with the future.

Accuracy is the most rewarding way to deal with what will happen tomorrow–if you predict correctly.

Accuracy rewards those that put all their bets on one possible outcome.

The thing is, accuracy requires either a significant investment of time and money, or inside information (or luck, but that’s a different game entirely).

Without a reason to believe that you’ve got better information than everyone else, it’s hard to see how you can be confident that this is a smart bet.

Resilience is the best strategy for those realistic enough to admit that they can’t predict the future with more accuracy than others.

Resilience isn’t a bet on one outcome. It’s an investment across a range of possible outcomes, a way to ensure that regardless of what actually occurs (within the range), you’ll do fine.

And denial, of course, is the strategy of assuming that the future will be just like today.

If you enter a winner-take-all competition against many other players, accuracy is generally the only rational play.

Consider a cross-country ski race. If 500 people enter and all that matters is first place, then you and your support team have to make a very specific bet on what the weather will be like as you wax your skis.

Picking a general purpose wax is the resilient strategy, but you’ll lose out to the team that’s lucky enough or smart enough to pick precisely the right wax for the eventual temperature.

Of course, and this is the huge of course, most competitions aren’t winner take all.

Most endeavors we participate in offer long-term, generous entrants plenty of rewards.

Playing the game is a form of winning the game. In those competitions, we win by being resilient.

Unfortunately, partly due to our fear of losing as well as our mythologizing of the winner-take-all, we often make two mistakes.

The first mistake is to overdo our focus on accuracy, on guessing right, on betting it all on the ‘right’ answer. We under appreciate just how powerful long-term resilience can be.

And the second mistake is to be so overwhelmed by all the choices and all the apparent risk that instead of choosing the powerful path of resilience, we choose not to play at all.

Denial rarely pays.

Posted by Seth Godin on January 03, 2014

Delight the weird, the outlier

Everyone who eats at your restaurant expects a good cup of coffee, and it’s difficult to wow them, because, of course, your competition is working to do the same thing.

But of course, it’s not everyone who wants a cup of coffee. Some want a cup of tea, or a cup of herbal tea, and those folks are used to being ignored, or handed an old Lipton tea bag, or something boring.

What if you had thirty varieties for them to choose from?

Everyone who stays at your hotel expects the same sort of service, and it’s difficult to wow them, because, of course, your competition is working to do the same thing.

But of course, it’s not everyone. Some people travel with their dogs, and they’re used to being disrespected.

What if you gave those people a choice of a dozen dog toys, three dog beds and a special dog run out back?

When you delight the weird, the overlooked and the outliers, they are significantly more likely to talk about you and recommend you.

Posted by Seth Godin on January 05, 2014

The hard work of understanding

Sometimes, we’re so eager to have an opinion that we skip the step of working to understand. Why is it the way it is? Why do they believe what they believe?

We skip reading the whole thing, because it’s easier to jump to what we assume the writer meant.

We skip engaging with customers and stakeholders because it’s quicker to assert we know what they want.

We skip doing the math, examining the footnotes, recreating the experiment, because it might not turn out the way we need it to.

We better hurry, because the firstest, loudest, angriest opinion might sway the crowd.

And of course, it’s so much easier now, because we all own our own media companies.

Posted by Seth Godin on January 04, 2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

Blog Stats

  • 1,427,654 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 775 other followers

%d bloggers like this: