First, stop thinking about “The Next Best Thing” as “second best.”
I’ve heard the term used this way before, too: “yeah, we’re working on the next-best thing,” or “well, it’s not [the thing], but it’s the next-best thing.”
Stop considering the “next best thing” as second place.
The “next best thing” isn’t second, or third, or even ranked–it’s just the “thing that comes after what you just did.”
Did you get that?
It’s what you’re doing right now, assuming you did something before it.
If you’re just getting started, the “next best thing” is what you’re currently working on (you are working on something, right?).
And if you’re about to launch something spectacular, it’s the thing you’re focusing on after it’s all said-and-done.
I’ve been consumed by what I’m building.
Like a true architect (at least how I imagine an architect being), I’ve been consumed by my work this last few weeks:
- Is everything ready to go?
- Is the payment structure in place and working?
- Will people like it?
I’ve found that there’s always something you can do to improve; always something you can add, or redo, or restructure.
And here’s why:
What you’ve created, especially if it’s truly the best you can do, is all that matters.
What we’re going to care about–your customers, clients, visitors, readers–is what you’re doing next.
Or, “the next best thing.”
Steve Jobs liked to say that there’s “one last thing” or “one more thing” during his keynote speeches.
There was always something else; something inspirational that he hadn’t yet uncovered.
I don’t idolize the man, but I acknowledge the legacy he’s left and wonder if it’s a testament to his genius that we’re all wondering if there really is “one more thing” left at Apple.
One more iPod
One more iPhone
One more Macintosh
What about you?
You and I may not be Steve Jobs, but we do have something exceptional to bring to this world. That’s why you read this blog; that’s why you write, create, and develop.
It’s the reason you started doing “your thing,” whatever that may be.
I love the idea of “building something from nothing,” and if I could die having only built things that didn’t exist before, I’d probably die a happy man.
But when we’re ready to release that “something” into the world–what do we do next?
Here’s an answer:
You guessed it: The Next Best Thing
Not “the second-best thing,” or “the thing that’s not quite BEST,” but:
The Next Thing That We Can Think Of That’s Best
Or, in other words, the most amazing thing we can do.
It’s just going to happen to fall on a time-based calendar that happened after the first-best thing.
So go create.
Go be inspired to write, to dream, to build–the “next best” thing isn’t “second-best” at all–it’s the best thing we can think of given what we’ve just done.