What’s Luck Got to Do With It?

Most entrepreneurs successful or otherwise will repeatedly tell you that “Luck is just preparedness meeting opportunity”. Is that really true or would guys like me who risk everything for what we believe in like it to be so?

For the same reason millions of rational air travelers decided to drive right after 9/11 here in the U.S., the belief in control in the midst of chaos is a natural human reaction as nicely illustrated in this recent Time article. Even though statistically, we are much safer flying than driving, driving represents the “feeling” of being in control despite the numerous variables to the contrary.

It’s the same with luck. In today’s interconnected world of increasing variables, the illusion of control is more essential than ever. Hard work is obviously a given, but how much that work actually reduces the risk variables is highly questionable.

Faith has always been the path of least resistance, and maybe the belief (in ourselves in this case) is instrumental in making us less anxious so that we can make better decisions. As I’d written in Don't Do. Be. sometime back, how we “feel” about our ability to control our destiny may just impact the “luck” in our favor. This captures it well:

"A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds."
-Sir Francis Bacon

SelfLead: The Emergence of The Sovereign Citizen

I finally got around to writing a thought piece on it. Check it out and let me know what you think.

When Will Then Be Now?

Maybe sooner than we think. I was blown away by the implications of MS labs PhotoSynth potentially represents. It’s shared context using data that we humans understand : pictures. More than just Flickr with Google Earth and other daily mashups, these kinds of technologies might turbo charge our participation economy like never before.

Now just think of this for audio and cross reference that with time and space. The possibilities are just emerging as we think of realizable business and service models to get people outside of the connected few in wealthy countries to participate. I’m brewing up a few ideas, how about you?

Is Found the New Search?

Wired just put out a story on social bookmarking which brings up a very interesting question. Whose results do we trust more? Those from an impersonal search engine or the selections of an human being? What makes another person’s picks interesting to us is obviously dependent on how much they have in common with us, but how do we determine that commonality?

How do we share meaning with that person if they’ve not shared our context?

I believe that is among the big questions still left to explore as new business models emerge in this space. As for the question posed in this headline, the reality is probably closer to how we seek and process information in general. We BOTH “search” and trust the “findings” of trusted sources. It’s really a question about the level of SATISFACTION with the known vs. the unknown, and it really depends on context. Thoughts?

Commonly Brilliant?

Fans of the classics like Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream already know the power of fantastic entertainment for the masses masking the deeper wit and insight. Timeless entertainment has already figured out the formula for sustainability by layering insight and intellect with absolute nonsense so that it can appeal to more people albeit on multiple levels, but has the world of business and governance? It’s more than the “common touch”, it’s brilliance that finds what is common to all and capitalizes on it. There are lessons to learn while laughing (the best kind, I’d think), here are a few for your viewing pleasure:

Daily Show

Bugs Bunny


Midsummer’s Night Dream

None of us like to believe that we’re one of the masses. We’re programmed to see the world from our unique perspective to ensure ultimate survival of self. Paradoxically we also trust the wisdom of crowds. What everyone is doing somehow seems like the thing to do, or at the least try out.

The world of business is no different. Social spaces are said to generate huge ad spending and you can bet the race to lead here is heating up. Guys like me and the head lemur here see the obvious lunacy, but is anyone really listening?

With cash opportunities sprouting in the and other spaces, it’s only natural for companies to try to mimic the success of others. However, I think Machiavelli might have had it right, when he observed that most see the action and the result but not the PROCESS. I’d argue that what these recent trends actually mean are distorted bhttp://beta.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gify old lenses of equating traffic with relevance, predictions with reality.

When the result is in billions in acquisitions, the observations of “process” and true causes often eludes us. It is definitely sexier to see the results and make what seems to be the “obvious” bets.

© 2006 GROW |