What Happens Next?
As we move into the summer, the question I keep asking myself is, what happens next? How will all the new trends that have emerged over the past 18 months play out? Are they here to stay, or are they destined to become dust in the wind? Are the areas I’m doubling down on going to endure?
That last question is a tough one to grapple with, and I’m not alone in working through it at the moment. The result will likely have a profound impact on how the next few years unfold for everyone facing it. Get it right and prosper, or get it wrong and potentially go back to square one.
This, of course, is not a question that’s unique to this point in time. It’s been on people’s minds every day since the onset of civilization. Yet, it’s pretty rare when there is a collective emphasis on this question at one given moment in time.
Global paradigm shifts don’t happen all too frequently. World War II, the advent of the internet, and the Great Recession are a few (relatively) recent examples that come to mind. What we’re experiencing now might turn out to be one of these moments. The aftermath of Covid combined with a shifting geopolitical landscape, the race to beat climate change, and the accelerating development of web3.0 are reshaping how people live their lives across the globe.
When you take a step back to reorient where we are right now compared with any point in the past decade or so, the magnitude of change happening in the world starts to take form. So, with this in mind, how do you gain confidence that the areas you’re doubling down on will endure?
I, most certainly, don’t have the answer to that question. But, I do have a checklist of questions to share that I’ll be turning to as I try to answer it for myself.
- What is obvious to the smartest people in the room that isn’t obvious to me?
- What is obvious to me that isn’t obvious to others?
- Why hasn’t this already happened?
- What up-and-coming communities are generating the most excitement on the internet?
- What emerging technology is captivating the mind of college students?
- Is there potential for uncapped upside in what I’m working on?
- How can I build in downside protection?
- Is there room for multiple winners, or am I playing a winner-take-all game?
- Is there a regulatory unlock to be taken advantage of?
- Is there an unforeseen regulatory risk?
If the answers to these questions start to align with areas you’re doubling down on, I’d like to think there’s a pretty good chance you’re heading down the right path.