What Won't Change

Feb 11, 2023

In a 2012 interview, Jeff Bezos said,

“I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’

And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time … In our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection

It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘Jeff I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher,’ [or] ‘I love Amazon; I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.’ Impossible. […] When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.”

So what is unlikely to change in the next 10 years? Some guesses:

  • More data – Our lives continue to get more digital. Even without the help of generative AI, it's hard to imagine we won't create as much data in the future.
  • Cheaper/faster hardware – Moore's Law might not hold for the next decade, but we'll still get some sort of speed up. Whether it's just making our existing software more efficient, new breakthroughs in semiconductors, or specialized hardware for machine learning, hardware will get faster and cheaper.
  • More code (more developers?) – I'm not sure how much of it will be written by humans vs. written by AI, but we're going to have more code. Some implications of having more developers.

And some more general ones:

  • Connecting with our friends, family, and others.
  • Entertainment
  • Social status
  • Economic status
  • Employment
  • Meaning
  • Standard of living (housing, purchasing power, etc.)