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Prime Future 100: For the 100th time 😁

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I started this project in the uncertainty & isolation of those early pandemic days. The stock market was in free fall and grocery stores couldn’t restock the meat case fast enough while dairies were dumping milk as the price plummeted when schools shut down. It was the weirdest of times.

I had two objectives in mind when I started Prime Future:

  1. Find more of my people
  2. Learn out loud about interesting stuff in animal protein

1-0-0 editions later, here we are. And in the spirit of learning out loud, here are 9 takeaways from the process of writing the first 100 editions of Prime Future:

(1) I wish I’d been bolder with my hypotheses by being specific.

Each edition is ~1,000 words so that’s ~100,000 written words so far. The only thing I know for sure is that at least 50,000 will be proven in hindsight, probably more. But I wish I’d gotten more specific in my hypotheses, like “D2C will represent 20% of total meat sales by 2027” instead of the generalized versions.

There’s more risk in putting specific hypotheses into the world than general hypotheses because they’re more likely to be more wrong in hindsight. But there's waaaay more learning in documenting the specific assumptions…which is the whole point.

This takeaway has much broader application though. How often do we make investing/financial/business decisions without clearly documenting our assumptions at the time of the decision so we can come back later and evaluate & learn from those assumptions? I’d love to talk with someone who has a good process for this.

(2) I’m increasingly convinced that we better understand the future by understanding how the current state came to be.

And that we have a better chance of actually c-h-a-n-g-i-n-g the future when we understand why things are the way they are including the economic, social, psychological, and other drivers that got us here.

As always, Winston Churchill said it best, “The further backward you look, the further forward you can see.”

(3) The continual pursuit of learning to write more effectively is the visible side of the continual pursuit of learning to think more effectively.

Having a regular writing process is a forcing function for a thinking process. Writing clearly is a reflection of thinking clearly. Improving the one improves the other. This will be #goals forever more, regardless of how long Prime Future is alive.

(4) We're all making it up as we go.

(5) Getting in the game – and staying in the game – is the ultimate hack.

If you’re in the game then you can learn and iterate. I go months where I’m super fired up about topics I’m tackling and can’t wait to hit publish, and then hit walls where for a few weeks I’m just not inspired – I’m forcing myself to keep writing and I dread hitting publish. Then the inspiration returns. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Get in the game, stay in the game.

(6) People are the absolute best.

The definitive best part of Prime Future has been connecting with aggressively innovative thinkers and doers.

I have a list of leaders I would work for, teammates I want to work with, investors I’d want backing my next startup, and organizations I would love as customers.

The list is titled ‘long term games with long term people.'

(7) I write for myself.

I’m always asking myself, who am I writing for? Sometimes it’s CEOs or the high ambition person early in their career. Sometimes it’s startup founders, or the lunatic farmer (my favorite kind).

But I always come back to the idea that I am ultimately just following my own curiosities about the depth & breadth & complexity & scale & hints about the future of the vast global animal protein business. While my hope is that it’s valuable for people who are actioning the future of animal protein, I write for myself.

(8) There are 2 kinds of people who engage on the interwebs, including with an email newsletter:

  1. Those who interact with thought provoking questions, comments, & counterpoints to the big ideas.
  2. Those who comment only to point out grammatical errors or the misplaced decimal.

Be the first kind, my friends. Be the first kind.

(8) I’m bullish on the future of animal protein.

A friend who drew my name in a Secret Santa gift exchange got me a shirt that has the Prime Future logo and “I’m bullish on the future of animal protein”. (Best gift ever, right?!)

Apparently I say/write that sentence a lot. I say/write it a lot because y’all, I mean itAnd now its on a shirt so imma stick with it.

(9) What a time to be alive.

Perhaps my highest conviction is about why somewhere along the way I started ending each Prime Future with ‘what a time to be alive’.

A couple of years ago a young cattle producer said he was considering selling his cows because alternative meats were going to put him out of business. I consider that question a reflection of the sheer amount of cynicism and negativity and fear mongering that encapsulates this industry; cynicism that is as much from insiders as it is from outsiders.

I’m over that mess.

We can listen to the pearl clutchers. Orrrrrrr we can spend time with the aggressively forward thinking lunatic farmers, the innovators who are solving actual problems, or the pioneers creating opportunity amongst the challenges. It’s virtually impossible to not be bullish on the future of animal protein when you’re surrounded by these people.

Thanks for being here.

What a time to be alive🙂

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