6 Months, 30 Years

6 Months, 30 Years

Facebook gives a little red book to all of their new employees sharing with them some of the company’s core beliefs and culture.

The book is a great look into how a company that dominated an ever-changing industry thinks and operates at such an incredibly high and fast-paced level.

One of the pages that sticks out the most is about how they plan for the future in a rapidly progressing and changing world.

6 months or 30 years

There is no point in having a 5-year plan in this industry. With each step forward, the landscape you’re walking on changes. So we have a pretty good idea of where we want to be in six months, and where we want to be in 30 years. And every six months, we take another look at where we want to be in 30 years to plan out the next six months.

It’s a little bit shortsighted and a little bit not. But any other approach guarantees everything you release is already obsolete.

African economies are a little bit like the tech industry—they’re prone to spurts of change, but not. And can be difficult to operate and do business with constraints like liquidity, infrastructure, and corruption. Overlay this in the tech industry with lack of funding, rapid growth struggles, and fierce competition.

Planning for six months in advance is long enough into the future, but not too far. Then looking 30 years down the road allows you to formulate a generational vision that keeps you on the straight and narrow path of running a successful endeavor.

(photo via ben barry)