Doc, Marty and Your Business: The Battle Between Short-Term and Long-Term Thinking
Back to the Future has more to offer us than 116 minutes of pure, unadulterated fun. The action-packed time travelling tale of Doc Brown and Marty McFly also provides a glimpse into the pros and cons of short-term and long-term thinking.
Marty’s entire world view is defined – and limited – by his short-term thinking. Rather than focus on potential long-term benefits – in his case, a lucrative music career - his mind is riddled with fears of rejection. Doc’s mindset, by contrast, resides at the opposite end of the spectrum entirely – devoting 30 years of his life to a near-impossible task with little regard for the cost…
It’s when the two minds meet that the magic happens! In the business world, it comes down to EXPLOIT vs EXPLORE.
In other words, the extent to which a company leverages what they already know in the short-term whilst exploring new possibilities for the long-term. Space X’s model embodies this balance.