Not that new

September 03, 2018

When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact. - Warren Buffett

I was talking to my friend Jared over the weekend. He said hiring is pretty important in business. I agree but you also have to pick the right market. "Strategy vs. operations": it's a classic debate in business. "Doing the right things" (strategy, markets) vs. "doing things right" (hiring, products, great execution).

Overall I think Silicon Valley weighs talent too much. Great people are indeed worth their weight in gold. But that view risks ignoring Buffet's point above. Even a great team can't win in a terrible market.

Which brings me to a larger point.

There's a risk that when you're doing something innovative, you can forget that most of what you're doing isn't innovative. Even the most innovative people might be innovating 1%. If you ever want to ship, I hope the other 99%, the stuff that's table stakes, is standard, cheap, and well-understood.

"Well understood" means you aren't the first to do it, so stop acting like you are. Whether in technology, management, even relationships, I've learned that perhaps 1% of my life is genuinely novel. The other 99% is the same old stuff, so best to seek advice from books, friends, managers, even my parents.

← Previous

Next →