Super Cities №39 – 2018: Scattered Actions, Focused Reactions

Brendan Hart

One Big Thing

Welcome to 2018, all. I hope you have a healthy, productive, and happy year.


Sir Isaac Newton said for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In this formula, the key variable is time.

If 2017 was chaotic and scary, 2018 will be much of the same. But also different.

With social movements and innovation, the opposite reaction takes time. The ride-sharing economy will have been around for decades before city streets are significantly less crowded. This effort is a decades-long reaction to a centuries-long action.

The same is true of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, and every other field of global significance.

In 2018, I’m going to focus my energies on long-term reactions rather than short-term actions. I’m going to concentrate on ten-year plans and ten-day goals, rather than 140 character tweets.

I’m going to focus on trying to understand how the world works — a lifetime venture — rather than allocate bandwidth to the latest startup valuation, political scandal, or far-away event.

The people that I most admire are good at this. They don’t let short-term actions distract them from long-term resiliency, planning through execution, and doing hard work for a long time before becoming an overnight success.

In 2018, I want to be more like those people, and I want our companies to remember these lessons.

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