This happened 15 years ago maybe?
Her: Who’s out there that could possibly overtake Yahoo now that AltaVisa, Excite, and Snap are gone?
Me: It’s gonna be someone we never heard of, doing stuff we never thought of, making things we’ve never seen.
There’s a story I’ve told for decades: For thousands of years, the Chinese have been invaded by the north.
- The Xiongnu (aka Attila the Hun) invaded from the north regularly
- The Jurchen invaded from the north and controlled China for over a century.
- The Manchus invaded from the north and controlled China for over three centuries
It goes on.
In any case, they hit on the idea to build a wall. And for the next 1,800 years, they kept an eye on that wall.
Then in 1839, the Opium Wars start – in the south – which led China into the civil wars, WWII, more civil wars, Communism, and now China making Olympic clothing for the US.
My point is that they’d trained themselves to respond automatically to a set stimulus: Blitzkrieg attacks from the north.
But they no idea that they could be attacked – slowly and both militarily and economically – from the south.
By people they’d never heard of, doing stuff they never thought of, with things they’d never seen.
The hardest lesson to learn in wrasslin and in fencing – one I’m still struggling with – is how to stop going for a closed path and see the open paths.
Anywho, tell this story cause I got some interesting news the other day: The guy that made it into that law school just got a pretty good gig somewhere else. He’s super psyched. I remember telling him this story on the phone.
Me: The moral of the story’s this: Stop looking north. You spend all your time and energy looking at this one direction and your threats and opportunities are potentially – and probably – somewhere else completely.
Him: So stop looking north?
Me: Well, stop looking only north.