Chapter 1

THE PERILS OF THE PRESENT-FORWARD FALLACY

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.

—Søren Kierkegaard

A string of stage coaches, a horseless carriage, and the Goodyear space tire  •  When present-forward and when future-back?  •  The first law of incumbent organizations   •  The vicious cycle of cognitive biases and organizational incentives  •  Heating houses by burning the furniture   •  The tyranny of the urgent  •  The most reliable predictor of high shareholder returns  •  The cavalry is not coming

Virtually every mature company tries to produce breakthrough innovations, but often what they tout as the wave of the future is just an incremental improvement on what they are already doing—the same ...

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