Tactics vs. Frameworks

Everyone hunts for best practices. But best practices often fall into two tiers: Tactics and Frameworks.

Tactics tend to work in the short-term. Do x, y, and z to optimize for 1, 2, and 3. They work until a “market” is saturated with them. And then they stop working.

Frameworks (good ones, at least) tend to work in the long-term. Instead of actions x, y, z to do 1, 2, 3 — it’s more “View the problem in x, y, and z ways, then attack the problem accordingly.”

Cultural McMansions (which crumble under the weight of time) are built upon collections of Tactics.

Old stone houses (which stand the test of time) are built upon collections of Frameworks.

Being able to fluidly combine or ditch or switch between Tactics doesn’t ensure long-term success. Being able to combine or ditch or fluidly switch between Frameworks is an indicator of long-term success.

To paraphrase/repurpose Peter Thiel, things that fail in the long-run but succeed in the short-run are unable to solve “Zero to One” problems– the types of challenges that require strong problem-solving skills (inherent in Frameworks) and that are almost impervious to imitative ploys (like Tactics).


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