The big news today is that Twitter is launching a whole new interface (again) that will change the way we all interact with our accounts on the web, on our mobile devices, and TweetDeck. This makes me think of a great post on visionary leadership from Fred Wilson called Long Roadmaps, where he includes a statement from Jack Dorsey as he re-took the product helm at Twitter earlier this year:
When Jack Dorsey came back to Twitter, he said he was finally going to build Twitter 1.0. Think about that. And think about what Twitter 5.0 is in Jack’s mind.
Understanding the long-term, and having a vision in your head not only of what is ten years out, but of the platforms to reach in between here and there, seems critical to putting a dent in the universe. A lot of people have noticed, with hindsight, how well Steve Jobs described iCloud and a cloud-oriented computing experience in 1997:
This kind of vision is of course only one component of the process.
There are many leaders who can envision a future seven to ten years out, just as there are many leaders who are truly excellent at execution and process, and many leaders who can inspire people to produce amazing work. The combination is what seems harder to find.