Excellent article on the vision needed to lead those lacking imagination into the future. ‘Twas always thus.
“You don’t often hear Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos mentioned in the same breath. Other than the fact that they’re both rich, they don’t, on the surface, seem to have much in common. One seeks to become a transportation baron and has gambled almost his entire fortune on a quest to reach the stars while the other is best known as an online retail mandarin concerned with more earthly pursuits. I once had dinner with Musk (which Jason Calacanis organized) and he kept the entire table spellbound with his vision of colonizing other planets and his progress with designing a rocket through his company, SpaceX. But Bezos has also invested in space exploration through Blue Origin, his privately funded aerospace company.
Both seem to take the long view of history, with Bezos particularly fond of historical analogies. He’s compared the dotcom boom and bust to the 1849 gold rush, the advent of electricity to the Web, and the printed book to a horse. Once on Charlie Rose he likened the Internet’s effect on business to the Cambrian period approximately 550 million years ago, after the first multicellular creatures slithered from the primordial ooze. It was, he explained, an evolutionary big bang, engendering both the greatest rate of speciation the world has ever seen and its greatest rate of extinction.
“What’s very dangerous,” Bezos summed up, “is not to evolve.”