Great chess players see several moves ahead. That is the beauty of competing in a fixed system of rules. Unfortunately, many of us operate in environments where exogenous factors are unpredictable and often unknown. This is especially true in the tech industry where "discovering the new" is the work of the day.
Good companies deal with the unknown by being outcome driven. They seek to replicate success by hiring knowledgeable and creative people with proven track records. Those people then use their collective experience to avoid pitfalls and recreate successes they've seen before. They create linear growth.
Great companies are process driven. They create experiment factories. They view iteration speed as the critical metric for achieving success. Many of the fastest growing among them, such as Amazon and Uber, move at such breakneck speeds that they find themselves accused of recklessness. While they face many more failures than slower moving, more thoughtful organizations, they also receive more exposure to the long tail of outcomes that contain the path to exponential growth.
I was struck by this tweet by Brian Norgard:
The difficulty of repeated success illustrates the tendency to value outcome over process. An outcome driven team looks at a "hit" and asks what made the product special. Unfortunately, exceptional products do not come in pairs. Their time would be better spent asking what provided the environment to incubate a hit.
Experiment factories operate on conviction and patience. The successes that matter are exponentially distributed and, due to the waiting time paradox, the time between them will often seem longer than expected. Don't let your doubts derail you. As any Sixers' fan would tell you, "Trust The Process."