Etech05: Jeff

“Because, you know, resilience – if you think of it in terms of the Gold Rush, then you’d be pretty depressed right now because the last nugget of gold would be gone. But the good thing is, with innovation, there isn’t a last nugget. Every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities.”

The above quote from Amazon founder, president and CEO Jeff Bezos is probably even truer today than it was in previous generations.

Technology is constantly evolving, moving forward at a breakneck pace. If you simply follow what other people are doing, chasing after that same gold nugget, you’ll quickly realize that there are no more nuggets to be found by the time you get there. This is why it is more important than ever to lead the pack.

You could argue that Steve Jobs had much the same mentality. Sure, Apple borrowed more than a few ideas from competitors, but it was able to reshape them in new and interesting ways. Consumers and investors alike got increasingly interested and the perceived value of Apple and its products rose accordingly.

Innovation wins. It’s not so much about winning the game as it is about changing the game. Or playing a different game altogether. Jeffrey Preston Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, arguably making e-commerce and online shopping into what it is today. They went on to create the Kindle, popularizing the idea of having an e-reader with an e-ink display. More recently, they changed the game again by offering the very affordably priced Kindle Fire. Tablets don’t have to be expensive.

Yes, you want to be resilient. You want to be tough and you want to be persistent, but you also have to recognize that there are many more rewards to be had by heading in a different direction altogether. Professional and financial success is not dictated by an end destination. Instead, it’s about the journey.

It was Bill Gates who told us that there is no finish line at all. Put another way, Bezos once said that “what’s dangerous is not to evolve.” What are you doing differently? How are you asking new questions and capitalizing on new opportunities?