The opportunity to change patterns

Human beings learn everything through pattern recognition. It could be a simple pattern like learning how to walk. Every process we use in life is a collection of patterns.

Animals follow patterns through instinct, and these change through evolution, but they don’t have the ability to consciously improve them.

You can teach an animal a pattern. You can teach your dog to do tricks. But your dog can’t teach another dog to do the tricks, and he can’t consciously change the tricks to improve them.

Fortunately, we humans can not only consciously recognize patterns, but we can also deliberately change them to make them more relevant and deliver more value.

Opportunities come through consciously changing existing patterns, and adapting the patterns to changing circumstances to improve relevance and value. But to do this, you must first understand what the current dominant patterns are, and how they’re failing.

You need to understand how changes in the environment are making the pattern lose value and relevance. This knowledge will help you to design adaptations that can increase value provided by those patterns.

We don’t need to make entirely new patterns. Most opportunities are tweaks to existing patterns. They are rarely complete replacements.

For example, the iPhone wasn’t a completely new device. It was an adaptation to previous forms of phones, that added a huge amount of additional value by massively increasing useful service to its users.