Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Full Spectrum of Choices

"Often, for example, we'll get stuck in a mindset of prevention OR promotion. If we can do both, seeking out options that minimize harm AND maximize opportunity, we are more likely to uncover our full spectrum of choices." - Chip Heath and Dan Heath in their book Decisive How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Thursday, November 21, 2013


“It is better to be right than to be contrarian. But being contrarian is very often a good heuristic for finding what is right.” - Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal

Friday, November 15, 2013

An Entrepreneur Long Shot!

Understand how much of a long shot you are. A one in 20 bet might be a “good bet” if you can afford the downside AND you have a chance at a 1,000 to one payoff. But it’s essential that YOU GET REAL!

Some entrepreneurial endeavors entail more risk than others. Riskier bets require execution of the fundamentals just as much as the more conservative ones. But the riskier gamble on a unique and un-proven value proposition hopes to create a long-term competitive advantage, and a chance for an eventual home run.

One who has never worked in either the coffee- or food-delivery business is a long-shot to create a new business that promises to deliver 300 kinds of coffee to the customer’s doorstep within fifteen minutes of ordering. And yet, almost all radical change comes from industry outsiders. Great examples of this include Amazon (originally a unique approach to the book business, but now so much more) and Apple, in both the music and cell phone businesses.
Long shots can offer tremendous value based on the upside, but the calculations and risk/reward profile are quite different from the safer plays.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb reminds entrepreneurs: “Most of you will fail, disrespected, impoverished, but we are grateful for the risks you are taking and the sacrifices you are making for the sake of the economic growth of the planet and pulling others out of poverty.”

Thankfully, some entrepreneurs will still make the plunge. 

Entrepreneur's Risk Scale, Radically New Value Proposition,
"I have so often in my life been mistaken that I no longer blush for it." Napoleon Bonaparte

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Sure Thing is the Sure Loss!

Sure Thing is the Sure Loss

 I would love to find the sure thing for making a profit, but I have been totally defeated in that search. My experience is that the only sure thing is the sure loss.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sometimes Smart Bets Lose

In business (and life in general), you need to appreciate that sometimes smart bets lose, and occasionally dumb bets win. As Michael Lewis said about the game of baseball in Moneyball, “There are lucky doubles and unlucky outs.” If you can’t come to grips with this truth, you might avoid decisions—and that in itself is a bad decision.

Smart Bets Lose