Amazon has again and again proven that they are responding to an unchanging human desire. Consumers want what they want, when they want it, in an easy and inexpensive way.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, says that's the magic of success. Not looking at what will change but what will not change in the future.

A few years ago I was talking with a CEO about whether or not he should pull his team together to focus in-depth attention on the future they wanted to create for their company. He said, "Beyond setting financial goals, I'm not sure we know enough about the future of our industry to be able to plan for it." I disagreed with him at length — and we did end up working with his team to define their vision and strategy in a way that turned out to be helpful. But many executives have said some version of this to me over the past couple of years: how can we envision what our businesses will or should be when everything is changing so quickly? Shouldn't we just be opportunistic: go along the best we can until we see a big shift clearly — and then pivot?

And my answer is: No. I've seen way too many companies lately make huge changes - in structure, goals, market target, product or service - in reaction to some perceived industry shift...and then change again a few months or weeks later when the next "big shift" comes along. It's exhausting for everyone involved, and almost never effective.

So, how does a company move forward well in these wildly changing times? How can you chart a course toward an achievable future when nothing seems certain?

Just last week, my business partner Jeff sent me a wonderful quote from Jeff Bezos:

“I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.” - Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO

I thought — exactly!

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