Jonathan Cutrell

Optimize for the Long-Term

March 04, 2020

Optimize for the Long-Term

When you optimize for the long-term, a lot of other problems naturally resolve.

Optimizing for the long term means valuing:

  • People over products
  • Character over skills
  • Trends over spikes
  • Norms over exceptions
  • Teaching over showing
  • Philosophy over tactics
  • Habits over heroics
  • Smooth over fast
  • Data over anecdotes
  • Impact over hype
  • Causes over symptoms

This isn’t intuitive because it can be scary. You might have to give up short-term wins that would prevent long-term growth.

Being optimize for the long-term doesn’t mean you ignore the short term. It means you change the short term in light of the long term.


Written by Jonathan Cutrell, engineering manager at Tesorio and podcast host at Developer Tea. You can follow him on Twitter at @jcutrell.