Not All Progress is Equal

“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turn then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”

C.S. Lewis

You only need to enjoy a single viewing of Jurassic Park to understand that not all progress is positive. As Ian admonishes John Hammond, “your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

In the beginning, progress requires a lot of change.

We have to try new stuff, test out new ideas, and figure out what exactly are the primary levers we need to pull to get where we want to go.

It’s not uncommon, then, for people to mistake change for progress.

But eventually, all of the necessary changes have been made and pushing further actually does more harm than good. At that point, progress just means doing the right stuff day-in and day-out for the long-haul, making only minor adjustments and iterations along the way.

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