The working model for ‘this time is different’ is that this time is different when the system changes. Our examples:
- Will robots change the unit economics of restaurants?
- Deregulation changes the state of airlines.
- Will sport tickets be NFT?
- The landing pad changes the form of the high jump.
Usually TTID is used optimistically. Invest/do/act this way because this time is different! However, Marc Andreessen explains the opposite case. Someone learns the system’s rules but the rules change.
“One way to view your trajectory through life is touching hot stove after hot stove…a lot of people who work at startups that don’t work learn not to work at startups…It’s the most natural thing and it’s like scar tissue. So as you age you naturally build up this scar tissue of all these cautionary lessons and as a consequence your aperture of what you’re willing to explore shrinks.”Marc Andreessen (The Knowledge Project, YouTube)
But things change! “What you see is that some kid shows up five, or ten, or fifteen years later and takes another swing at it and it becomes a gigantic success,” Andreessen added, “Webvan doesn’t work but now you have these giant successes in food delivery.”
It could be a sign of age, or just contrast, but throughout the talk Andreessen keeps calling them ‘kids’. Makes sense. What reveals more change than time?
Another, for Elon Musk, TTID was true for reusing rockets. But it is not true for traveling to Mars. Physics is law, everything else is just a recommendation, Musk noted.