Built to Impact

Tom's comment on the Beatles post below [Beatles, Stones, & Cubs, 04.07.06] has my head spinning.

Steve, this is the ultimate "no brainer" to me. The Beatles changed the world, and will be one of music's "Top 25" all-time stories-historical monuments 300 years from now. The Rolling Stones will have long, long been forgotten.

The Rolling Stones will have been seen as a fabulous, long-lasting group of performers. The Beatles changed the entire world—the world of politics and society-as-a-whole as much as the world of music. Honestly, how could there be any comparison at all?

What is this absurd obsession with "built to last"? "Built to make an impact" is my mantra—and if you last you last, if you don't you don't.

I've long said that Netscape is one of my favorite companies ever: Born, changed the world, and died ... all in the space of 60 months. I'll stand by that remark.

He has challenged the "built to last" paradigm many times, and says that "built to make an impact" is so much more important. His comparison of the Beatles' greatness to the Stones' makes it so clear.

We automatically assume that longevity is a result of greatness. But it so often isn't true. Hey, Mozart died at age 35. Duane Allman and Charlie Christian are two of the 20th century's most influential guitarists, and both died at age 24. And then there's Netscape ...

How ingrained is this obsession with longevity? It seems that people are (finally) breaking away from the "bigger is better" paradigm. Can the same happen with "built to last"?