Tag: risk

How Entrepreneurs Can Survive

Bernard Lunn makes another outstanding contribution at ReadWriteWeb. This time it’s a look at the credit crisis, and what entrepreneurs must do to survive. I’m oversimplifying in this summary, but for entrepreneurs the uncertainty remains, stupid business plans will still hit the can, and startups are still more work than fun.

Read the whole thing.

Memo to Oaktree clients from the Chairman of Oaktree Capital

Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital says it “Doesn’t Make Sense” (.pdf), opening with:

In fact, I marvel at how many things take place in the worlds of business, investments and politics that stem from irrationality…

Mr. Marks ventures on to numerous issues related to the current financial malaise – here are the highlights:

  • The “wisdom of the crowds” only works for so long, and compulsive-short term thinking simply exacerbates inevitable corrections
  • The ratings system was flawed from the get-go – there was no way this wasn’t eventually going to happen
  • Blaming speculators is the weapon of mass distraction for the politicians and their media cohorts
  • Setting the expectation that losses will soon disappear is easy to do when there is no one left that remembers any differently

And one of Mr. Marks’s favorite tidbits…

Being too far ahead of your time is indistinguishable from being wrong.

Certainly rings home here, but I’ll add that chance favors the prepared. Further, the chance of turning “wrong” back into “right” is magnified the further the downside deviates from the mean.

For those that fear reality-based thinking (which I believe is the standing majority), move on. For the rest, read the whole thing.

“If you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived”

Risk Averse, Or Too Many “Frontrunners”

It is awfully easy to placate the masses, run with the pack, find strength in numbers. But the moment someone on the fringe, who marches to the beat of a different drummer, takes the road less traveled (or what ever other cliche can be attributed to someone with a little vision and gumption) hits a homer, the “followers” come-a-running (like in the case of that friend of Hugh’s – see All The Time).

It’s very easy to get caught up in rationalizing on behalf of the majority–but it’s not always smart, and not always fair and not always right. You could also say it is nowhere near as fun, nowhere near as profitable, and is the happy reservation of spineless wanna-be’s that have no balls.

The risk averse almost never make the headlines, almost never retire early. I’ll take the underdog every time – they almost never have any regrets.

Not amongst the herd

Risk more than others think is safe
Care more than others think is wise
Dream more than other think is practical
Expect more than others think is possible

Cadet Maxim

It is about being different, although riding the wave can be fruitful too. Thanks go out to the contributors.

AT Kearney Gives Gusto to Startups

AT Kearney recently completed a study where they found top executives at manufacturers, software companies, and IT services firms were determined to concentrate on nurturing existing product lines, rather than invest in new technology development. In Poll: U.S. has conservative tack on innovation, they say AT Kearney found roughly 90% of executives were concerned about “falling behind”, but were doing little about it. If that isn’t a tech entrepreneur’s call to arms, I don’t know what is.