Tag: bucket of chips

Collecting chips at Cheesman

We can haz packsI heed the call. A Yampa River trip has gone bust, and a young-ling is headed home distraught, dismayed…downright dejected. “I had a really bad day, and I need a good one,” he says. Ego is at play. And ego can cost you chips.

I can spin a simple fishing story into uncommon philosophical diatribe

I’m sitting at my desk, thinking of anything and everything but fly fishing. Numbers are in the midst of tumbling, plans are being made in writing, and the rain is pouring down, if momentarily, in Denver (as is always the case). It seems there is a lesson to be taught, one in dealing with adversity. Fly fishing, like every other fancy, is no more than a series of bets made, subsequent wins and losses, and a tally. Like chips in a bucket – some days you take some out and some days you put some in. The key to success is not kicking over your pail when things get rough – you’re out of chips immediately and the game ends. If you’re really good, the chips overflow early and often, yet you’ve also become wise enough along the way to double up when the going’s good and cut your losses early. You’ll never run out of chips that way.

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A bucket of chips, or a pail of gasoline

I originated this post months ago, with the title “Starting Bad = Ending Bad,” but hesitated, so the tendency to ramble a bit may be apparent.

I have often thought that if a business venture got started off on the wrong foot, there was a good case for cutting the losses early, rather than “hoping” for the best down the road. I rarely thought of an alternative to “hope,” so I guess I have just been lucky. I looked at business ventures much like I look at securities trading, where the rule is clearly to hold on to the winners and cut the losers before things turn worse. But startups are much more complex than that.

After a decent amount of reflection, I believe my thinking was dead wrong. Startups are more like personal relationships than technical indicators. And, as I am a heck of a lot better at comprehending technical trading concepts than I am at deducing the intricacies of the former (I think many of us are), I looked for a different analogy to speak the point. And one eventually hit me.
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