Future Here Now: You Can't Pick the Winners
This week’s Future Here Now will focus on something we don’t want to admit — the fact that in a VUCA environment, our ability to predict winners goes out the window. That’s true, to some extent, on topics ranging from weather to football, but it’s especially true when the “winners” we’re trying to pick are technologies, or businesses, or entrepreneurs. We consistently over-estimate our knowledge, and under-estimate the unknowns.
That’s a problem for lots of people, but it’s especially a problem for those of us whose make decisions about the economic future of our communities — economic development incentives, zoning, real estate, etc. We place big bets on long odds, and far too often, our bets turn out to be misplaced.
Damn, it stinks to be wrong.
We’re wrong a lot
But we don’t admit it.
Years ago, a very smart man told me that the inherent problem with how economic development operates is that the conventional practices are predicated on picking the winners. I don’t think I understood his point for several years. But once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And I have found since that this lesson applies as equally to my entrepreneurship and business management experience as it does to my profession.
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