Recently I wrote about life not being Ceteris Peribus1—the fact that we really can’t control the variables in our lives. Here’s a snippet:
Essentially we believe that if we could make any certain variable (or variables) of our life or job constant, we’d be happier, richer, healthier, fill in the blank.
Ryan Carson, CEO of Treehouse, wrote a really good post2 that touched on the same theme, specifically in the context of change within a company.
Another key to battling going vanilla is to remember that you’re never safe as a company. You’re never done. Systematizing your processes and adding a lot of rules won’t keep your competitors from crushing you or your customers not caring about your products.
You have to remember that embracing constant change is the only way to survive. As soon as you get comfortable you’re dead.
This constant change is something that frustrates me about running a company. I wish we could just get really good at what we do and then go on auto-pilot. I have to accept this will never happen though, and ironically, it’s what makes running a company fun.
I love the notion of never being safe as a company. It’s true. Not only is achieving Ceteris Peribus impossible, but letting your mind entertain the idea is actually dangerous. Reaching goals is fun. Reaching stages of stability can be comforting. At the end of the day, though, there is no auto-pilot.
Also, Ryan and I agree on the frustrating part of running a company is also the best part. Here’s a line from my Ceteris Peribus post:
The funny part is that facing the great unknown is part of what makes entrepreneurship and growing a company (and parts of life) so exciting, meaning that I often live in a sort of paradox where I both want and don’t want superintendence.