This is the Year to Commit to Long-Term Thinking

Written by Jennifer Maerz, Editor-in-Chief at Lean Startup Co.

Welcome to 2017. We feel invigorated. Ready to shake off the stress of uncertainty that burdened the end of 2016. We’re hopeful about actively building a future where more organizations create tools that aid and inspire the communities around them. Let’s do this.

Summer in London, Fall in San Francisco

We’re continuing to take this vital conversation to an international level by hosting Lean Startup conferences on both sides of the Atlantic in 2017: one in London this summer and our flagship Lean Startup Week in San Francisco this fall. Details to come.

The Future of Lean Startup & Long-Term Thinking

Eric Ries is working on a new book, a follow-up to the Kickstarter-funded The Leader’s Guide, as well as his new company, the Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE). With both projects, he’s emphasizing the long view of management structures and market forces in the 21st Century. As Eric said at Lean Startup Week, take an x-ray of even the most heralded startup’s org chart and you’ll see the same systems we’ve been operating under for 100 years. “We’re really trying to think about what the right structures should be,” Eric said. “What should the right process be? How do we hold people accountable? And what does this mean for us individually as leaders?”

The LTSE expands on concepts of accountability to include the external rewards organizations face. “So many of the incentives that we see woven into the fabric of our world have become infected with this really dangerous short-termism,” Eric said. “It’s foundational. If we’re going to have this revolution succeed, we can’t be building these beautiful organizations and then take them public and have that gravitational force destroy them.”

The financial incentives start in our political systems and in our public markets and trickle down to infecting individual entrepreneurs, Eric explained. “The era of the built-to-flip startup and the short-timer energy that gets put into such an operation create a host of ridiculous pressures for public companies.”

The antidote, as Eric explained, is thinking like a scientist who investigates a phenomenon over the course of his or her career in order to deeply understand it. For example, founders of private companies have the power to choose their own corporate governance mechanism. “You really need to think about how you can structure the company to be a true partnership and alignment of interests between the management and the investors,” Eric said. When it comes to stock options specifically, Silicon Valley can shift towards “rewarding the employees that stay for the long-term and really create a truly long-term alignment of interest.”

Our Future with You

Long-term thinking is the theme of all our work at Lean Startup. Expect to hear more from Eric, our expansive leadership network, and the bright new stars of our global community in 2017. We keep an eye to the future by continually improving the way we do business today.

In the Meantime…

We’d love to hear from you. We’re holding customer development calls to help shape our 2017 products and services and want to chat about all things Lean Startup with members of our community. If you’re interested in speaking with us, please fill out this form.

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