Becoming Comfortable with Disorder

creativeDestructionI have found that in a world of constantly changing technology we must all become comfortable with a certain level of entropy.

We strive for order in the things we do.  It is our nature to create and refine systems in our everyday life.  This allows us to prioritize our finite mental energy for other more taxing tasks.

These systems can be as simple as the method you have ingrained in your mind to brush your teeth or how you conduct research online.  If you do something enough times it becomes second nature, you in essence go on auto pilot when doing that task.

These systems become habits.  Changing a habit takes more effort in most cases than forming them in the first place.  Further, we balk at others who try to show us a “better way to do things,” because it took effort and time to create the systems we use in our everyday lives. To a certain extent we have pride in these methods.  It is for these reasons people resist change.

As an example of this resistance, how much does everyone balk every time Facebook updates some aspect of their application?  How many people do you remember complaining when Facebook added the newsfeed feature?  Can you even think of using Facebook without this feature?  I feel like that is the core of the product at this point.  Do you think it will still be in a year?

This resistance becomes a problem in today’s world in which the everyday tools we use are not only changing, but the entire landscape changes as new and innovative tools are created every day further, these tools keep changing as well.  This process is disrupting whole industries at a faster and faster pace.

The reality we must all face is that there is no end point.  We can keep making systems that work within our life and the landscape of tools around us, but know that this cycle must never stop and that’s a good thing.  In the past if you gained success you could just keep repeating that formula over and over and gain more and more success.  This no longer holds true.  We need to constantly be malleable and willing to cannibalize our own personal structures with the adoption of new tools and ways of acting/interacting.

As an aside this is part of what will give small companies greater advantages over the big corporations as we see these behemoths hopefully go the way of the dinosaur.

Creative destruction is no longer a theory; it is now the rule and a constant.  Once we accept this as a reality we can open ourselves up to what is exciting about disorder and change: opportunity.  With ever-changing technology and systems comes the opportunity to create and be a part of building these systems.  If you choose to cling onto stagnating systems you will find yourself obsolete.

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