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The Big Short, Science March & The 4:20 Edition

Weekly eNews Update #38

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February 6, 2018

Do Your Suffer From Short-Termism?

No, you did not accidentally click on a stray link to WebMD.

But trust us, what is to follow won’t be series of self diagnosing questions about that ailment, with which many are intimately familiar.

Someone—but not Merriam-Webster—defines short-termism as “concentration on short-term projects or objectives for immediate profit at the expense of long term security,”

That doesn’t sound so bad? Perhaps not in the short term. (no pun intended).

This week we’re wondering where should we place our bets– long game, short game, or somewhere in between?

Inspired by futurist, Ari Wallach, his longpath philosophy offers a novel suggestion: let’s reframe our thinking about the future in the context of our actions taken in the here and now.

A generation and then some . . As innovators, we’re often focused on the immediate lifecycle of the next round investment, product rollout, or finally getting that MVP launched. Rarely, do we think trans-generationally. That is, taking into consideration the impact of our actions beyond our single life span. The fix: ask, do I play a role in solving big problems (like climate change), that have nothing to do with my everyday life? If the answer is no. Take action to change it.

Future vs. Futures: Not surprisingly, what we value most today may not even be relevant in the future (no need to recount your dating woes here). But, as we know too well, what’s hot today is almost destined to be a “not” tomorrow. Remember flip phones and fax machines? Don’t even get us started on how 2015 was nothing like what Back to the Future II predicted! So to the extent you plan ahead, instead of asking will this matter? Try asking, what will matter? Maybe, just maybe, technology will not solve all of the world’s most pressing issue. And, if not, what will inspire and where will we find the solutions? Be open to an unconventional vision of the future, one that is not tied to today’s trends or technological predilections.

Finally, our long game suffers when we plan for the sake of planning rather than planning with purpose, or as the Greeks called it, Telos. Absent a focused vision and clear answer to the question: to what end? We’re just going through the motions. And that’s never cool.

So, the long and short of it, let’s be intentional about tomorrow. The future is now and its shaped by what we do today.

Venture Café Miami



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