In praise of incremental

Incremental is passe in a world obsessed with disruption and big changes.

But, you can’t really plan for disruption. You can create an environment which brings in talented people and allows them to ship new and interesting ideas. But, you can’t expect them to create something disruptive.

Similarly, you can invest in a new course or in learning a new skill. But, you can’t go in expecting it to change your life. It might. But, it likely won’t.

The challenge with disruption is that it is only easy to spot with hindsight.

What we can count on instead is incremental change. Every day, we can make our products a little better than they were yesterday. Every day, we can make ourselves a little better than we were yesterday. These incremental changes compound when consistently done over time.

We regularly overestimate what we can get done in a year and underestimate what we can get done in a decade. That’s because we greatly underestimate the power of consistent, incremental change.

In the long run, there are few forces as powerful as that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s