If we want to do build things that matter, we have to build as if you’ll be around forever.
Given how strongly we’re wired to optimize for the short term and seek instant gratification, it is impossible to make good long term choices unless we have an implicit assumption that we’ll be working on our projects in perpetuity.
The difficulty is that there is something inherently scary about the idea of committing to something forever.
But, if there’s anything we should learn from folks who do build things that matter, it is their willingness to do things that few others would.
Channeling Jeff Bezos, however, we also know that it is a sign of wisdom to know when to change your mind and stop.
Perhaps, therein lies the secret to building things that matter – when you do something – even if it is something small and even if it something for a short period of time, do it as if you’d be doing it forever.
In essence, leave everything you do a little better than you found it. That’s how we get into the habit of building things that last.