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Entrepreneurs must think about the sustainability of their idea before the idea itself

Scott Blake

The Eureka moment

Every founder, manager, and decision-maker have a Eureka moment. A moment of big bang, where they discover the solution to the problem they have been trying to solve for days –or maybe even years.

The only problem with these Eureka moments is that everyone is thinking about the problem, but no one is thinking about how long the problem will last for.

The problem might be there today, but tomorrow it may not be around anymore. Or, someone else might have used the same strategy as yours to solve it. Even worse, they could be doing it better than you.

The best way to beat your competition, in this case, is to build on a sustainable plan of action.

Sustainability means constant innovation

The whole point of sustainability is to maintain growth at a certain level and think ahead. This means saying goodbye to growth-hacking tactics that promise short term success and focus more on the longer-term vision. This could be focusing on anything from the product itself to a tactic or strategy for example corporate culture.

There is a very popular and interesting story about the London black cab service. For the longest time, tourists and locals in the city were using their extremely reliable and highly respected “black cab” service.

These servicemen had literally all the places in London memorised! All drivers were meant to pass the Knowledge which meant they had to remember over 25,000 streets in London. This was a big deal because this was not a regular driving examination and not everyone who took the test passed it.

What do you think happened when popular ride services like Uber made an entry? Even Google Maps for that matter?

It was a nightmare for these black cab specialists. While London still has TaxiApp, which is operated by black cab drivers, it remains pointless for people to pay extra for the same service they are getting on other cheaper ride-hailing cabs.

Uber itself also experiences its own challenges. With the onset of self-driving cars in the next few years, to what extent will people still have the need to use Uber?

In that case, Tesla might emerge as the clear winner with its robotaxis, as the company states to do just that in the year 2020. While it may take more time than expected, eventually the prices of buying a car will also increase with time –something that is already happening, especially in the Asian market.

The general population may rely more and more on public cab services or even scooters if that happens.

Sustainability is thinking about the long term effects of an idea rather than focusing on the short term goals. This can be strategies, tactics and even the idea itself.

The wine and cheese theory

According to the wine and cheese theory, the longer something lasts, the better it gets. Sustainability does just that. It is the mindset of building a long-term relationship with employees, customers, and also your business.

Focusing on sustainability is definitely an art of the visionary. While this does require extra time to plan out, it is definitely more rewarding and helps you stay in the game for a longer time.

Read more: Unlocking the hidden value of waste: Tech solutions from Taiwan and US

This article was first published on e27, on Oct. 3, 2019.