Showing posts from July, 2012

The Fisherman and the Suit

There was once a fisherman who was fishing in a pond. Another man, in a suit, was passing him by, but stopped. He looked at the bucket of fish already caught by the fisherman and the wooden stick with a string at its end that he was using to catch the fish and decided the fisherman needed to be helped.

"Old man, why do you fish with a wooden stick?", said the suit.

"What else should I do?" asked the fisherman.

"Why, you should take a boat and a fishing net and go out into the middle of the pond to catch fish.", said the suit.

"But I don't have either a boat or a net."

"You can buy them."

"But, I don't have the money."

"Come, I'll lend you the money." offered the suit.

"But how can I row the boat and fish at the same time? I'll need help."

"I'll loan you the money to hire a few people."

"And then what?" asked the fisherman.

"You can catch a lot of fish!"


Follow the Laggard

Came across an interesting strategy deployed in sailboat racing while browsing the book'Art of Strategy'by Avinash Dixit & Barry Nalebuff. In a two boat race, the best strategy for the leading boat is to mimic the moves of the trailing boat. In this scenario, any change of wind that can speed up the trailing boat, will also have a similar effect on the leading boat, thereby enabling it to maintain its lead. 
This sort of turns the idea of leadership through innovation on its head. 
I remember a quote by Sean Parker about myspace that said basically the same thing, "There was a period of time where if they (myspace) had just copied Facebook rapidly, I think they would have been Facebook"
What this seems to suggest then, is that the onus of innovation is on the upstart. This has been the case in the technology space. This makes the extraordinarily successful innovation by the likes of Apple a little less remarkable. They had to be blindingly original because if th…