If you're a productivity addict, getting results quickly can be a key driving force in your decision making. As you watch the world become faster at virtually everything and anything, it's a good time to ask yourself: what's the benefit of moving slower?
Remember "The Tortoise and the Hare?" The hare challenges the tortoise to a footrace. It finds itself in the lead and decides to take a nap. The tortoise continues steadily and overtakes the hare, winning the race.
When you decide to take a quick route, you may be using up resources, money and energy that you might need for later. And then you have to take a pause to strategize your next move. In this time, you create a gap - a gap that becomes harder to fill while someone slow and steady taking their time with small moves is getting ahead of you.
Seth Godin gives a great talk in his new podcast, Akimbo, on the grand opening. He explains why a big grand opening is actually not as advantageous as starting now, and moving steadily and slowly to gain an audience or a customer base.
One key benefit of moving slowly is that it creates an opportunity for a feedback loop. When you have a good feedback loop, you're in healthy, functional relationship with the other side. It means that you're committed to being in relationship, in business, in the ever changing process of creation or service. You're not out to win a one hit wonder, create one big bang, or sell one product that sold a million units only once. You're in it for the long game and this type of commitment gives you a competitive advantage over all the small competitors that will come and go in the marketplace to try and out you with their quick gimmicks.
There are some great examples of companies that started out slow and steady, creating a healthy feedback loop that allowed them to then evolve into who they are today.
American Express started out in 1850 as an express mail company, delivering mail across the states.
Wrigley started out in 1891 selling soap and transformed into a chewing gum company.
Nintendo started out in 1889 as a playing card company long before it started producing console games.
Tiffany & Co. started out in 1837 as a stationary store before it became a jewelry line.
Sustained growth is far more valuable than making it big once or making it big quickly. Next time you are making a strategic decision consider time as a valuable ingredient to your success, instead of a threat. How would you make your decision differently?