The more one looks at different businesses, countries, people, the quicker one culminates to a single conclusion — that those who beat the competition, grew their quality of life, rose higher, and lasted longer, were simply doing a simple thing.
They were building for the future.
Let us look at a few examples of businesses, people, countries.
Most people think Amazon is an e-commerce company. Very early, Amazon decided that it’s a warehousing company. The fundamental question they asked themselves was, “What is true about our customers today that will remain true in 5 years?” Answer was: “They will always love it when they get something cheaper and have it delievered faster.”
From the very third year of its existence, Amazon committed itself to build for this idea. Everything we see on Amazon today was born in 1990s.
The Everything Store
Invent and wander
India never has fast pitches or fast bowlers. And Indian batsmen often suffered when they played in countries with fast pitches. From his very early days, Dravid (and some other future international cricketers too) practised for playing faster bowlers. He had bowlers bowl from a shorter distance, or play with a soaking wet tennis ball on a cement pitch, even bat with only one batting pad on.
Playing It My Way
United States of America
Until the early 19th century, USA did not need to bother itself much about the world politics. It’s geographic position rendered it immune to any foreign invasion given the technology of the era. But come the first world war and American leadership had to rethink its future. No longer was it secure from invasion. It needed allies and allies could be fickle. This realization was the beginning of the much advanced foreign policy that was entirely designed to maintain its dominant position in world politics for decades to come.
Competition exists in today. One must always build for the future. Because no one else is doing it. Hence by the time future comes, there would be only be a few winners.