When it comes to developing successful products and making smarter business bets, the truth is an evolving concept.

What is true about market conditions, consumer behavior and your product/market fit can change over time. Businesses built on assumptions will be disrupted by these forces, so you may need to disrupt your assumptions.

The lifecycle of products, companies and marketplaces has been pushed to warp speed by the digitizing of everything. What was true for your customers three months ago may not be true now, and yesterday’s “insights” can become the assumptions of today that may explode.

Insights are no longer permanent. They have a half-life that decreases every day. If your business decisions are guided by data that isn’t constantly refreshed, your product strategy will quickly grow stale and out of touch with consumer wants and needs.

Increase your speed-to-insight

Many executives admire Amazon and how they’ve been able to dominate just about any market they enter.

I don’t believe that every business should be trying to be “the next Amazon” but there are certainly lessons to be learned, especially about aligning with consumer needs and blowing up assumptions.

Jeff Bezos said, “One thing I love about customers is that they are divinely discontent. Their expectations are never static — they go up. It’s human nature. You cannot rest on your laurels. Customers won’t have it.”

In the midst of hyper-speed marketplace evolution, demands and tastes are going to evolve and you can’t count on your competition to rest on their laurels. The organization with the fastest speed-to-insight is the one that will succeed.

Bezos has described a vision for keeping Amazon in Day 1, “a strategy and mindset that embraces experimentation and risk-taking in order to build innovative products and achieve meaningful growth over the long-term.” Companies in Day 1 move quickly and ruthlessly to build products that meet the needs of their customers.

Test all of your assumptions

All of your assumptions about what consumers want need to be questioned. There are no sacred cows. The marketplace (and countless screaming headlines) may be saying that young people don’t want to buy cars. Maybe you do some research to test that assumption and find that in fact, they do want to buy them. But that’s not enough anymore

You need to go deeper and more granular to reveal a level of truth to guide real business and product decisions. Building a consumer-centric business means testing all of your assumptions and decisions about the wants and needs of your customers. In this case, about what kind of cars, what models, what options to create, and what marketing campaigns to launch. The insights that you glean from going beyond where the competition is able to go can help you build your next billion-dollar business.

Throw out your five-year plan

Consumer preferences won’t wait for you to field a comprehensive, long-range and unwieldy market research study. Research and analysis needs to have a definite expiration date, plans need to updated and assumptions need to be constantly challenged.

This requires the technology to call out assumptions where they exist. You must have tools to obtain continuous consumer feedback to create plans that are iterative and adapt to changing environments.

The only five-year plan your company should have is to still be in business in five years. That’s an objective truth I welcome you to verify.

This is a guest post by Thor Ernstsson, the founder and CEO of Alpha (www.alphahq.com), the on-demand insights platform enabling teams to make data-driven decisions about users, products, and new markets. With more than 17 years of experience leading the building and testing of digital products, Thor has a passion for understanding and effecting behavior change.