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Does Consistency Really Kill Businesses?

People who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds.

Jeff Bezos once stated:

“People who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds.”

He doesn’t think that the consistency of thought is a particularly positive trait. It’s perfectly healthy — encouraged, even — to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today. – Signal v. Noise

Now, I don't want to be the person who disagrees with one of the best businessmen in history, but in away, I do... just a little.

I think consistency, in both thought and action, is the main ingredient to greatness at anything.

I also believe that being consistent in the moment (short-term) can lead to a loss; however, being consistent with the long-term vision is where you win. This is what gives you direction and purpose in both business and life.

You need to be consistent in thought and action, but in a positive way. It’s imperative to stay consistent with the long-term vision, yet remain agile on the short-term activities. Doing so will leave room to experiment and enable you to be open to failure in order to change, improve, learn and grow, and this (as Mr. Bezos believes) should happen day-over-day (micro level). These are the little pivots that create a healthy business step by step. If you’re not consistent on a macro level, you’ll give up because you’ll have no sense of purpose or direction. However, if you’re consistent on a micro level and closing yourself off to improvements, learning curves and growth, you will lead yourself to state of “comfort” and ultimately lose! Just think about examples like Blockbuster vs. Netflix, Taxis vs. Uber, Amazon vs. Retailers, Tesla vs. Non EVs, and so on….

My personal example is my company BizON – we are consistent with our long-term vision, and that is creating a marketplace where people can go to buy, sell or grow a business or franchise. However, we embrace experiments and battle social cohesion in order to change, fail, learn and grow daily, because we know this is how we will create a better offering and marketplace for our users. My S.E.T model fuels these actions where we are constantly and consistently looking at our business through the lenses of social trends, economic trends and technological trends. These are trends that change daily, which means we need to be uncomfortable daily so that we are constantly changing it up in thought and action. However, being consistent and dedicated at a macro level must exist since it is the driving force of what you’re trying to accomplish, so in a way, I truly believe that being consistent in the right way is crucial to success and making the right decisions.  For example, Mr. Bezos himself staying committed to the long-term vision of creating the everything store, however, being agile on the daily to experiment and go through failures to give birth to things like Prime that build out the long-term vision.

The bottom line is that consistency builds momentum, which builds commitment – and this is where the magic happens.

What do you think?


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