Great timing: We had an earthquake drill around 10am in Los Angeles today, an hour later an earthquake hits Baja California. When I saw the newsflash of the earthquake, I was reminded how little we prepare for the predictable:

  • You live in Los Angeles, you will experience a major earthquake in the next decade. Where is your earthquake kit? I’m sure most of you have nothing of that kind.
  • Our demographics are changing dramatically, we have to face an aging population. What do we do as a society to face that predictable scenario besides exchanging cliches and slogans during election season?
  • It’s pretty clear that we will be running out of oil sometime in the future. Are we doing enough about it besides parading our Hybrids around town?
  • Objects will start to communicate with you, let you know when there’s no milk in the fridge, when you left the windows open in your house. How will that change marketing and the advertising industry?
  • At one point, people will demand ownership of their data, enabling to interact with brands, healthcare system, hell, the whole system, on their terms. How will that transform your industry? Will your industry still be around?
  • You will die. Very soon. What are you doing to make your life more rewarding, more loving, more in touch with yourself and the world?

In business as in life, you must determine what the predictable is and prepare for it today. Put your business in a space where nobody is yet, where you don’t face competition. You’ll need this real estate when the predictable has become the obvious. LEarn from Nouriel Roubini (aka Dr Doom), who predicted the financial crisis while he was shouted down by the bulls. Or George Steinbrenner, who developed YES Network, creating an unbeatable financial advance for the Yankees.

It takes some courage. It’s not easy to put a stake in the ground and make a bet on the future. But I’m not asking you to bet on the unpredictable. I’m just asking you to bet on a very likely outcome. Basically, I’m asking you to bet on a chess match between Garry Kasparov and me. How much courage do you need for that bet?

So, what is the predictable you are preparing for today?