On barbells, success ods, and courage
1 Quote, 1 Thought. For founders (not) only.
Hi, troublemakers! 👋
Here's a powerful quote I've highlighted this week, along with a thought for you to reflect this weekend.
Take care and unwind!
Authors of CEO Excellence about success odds:
“Knowing just how low the odds of success are, the best CEOs apply boldness to each of the three dimensions of direction setting—vision, strategy, and resource allocation.”
Yes, the success odds are low — according to the latest Carta.com report, startup death rates spike from 55 companies shut down in Q3 2019 to 212 companies in Q3 2023.
Therefore, the idea of being bold makes sense. There's a lot to gain and not much to lose.
However, as a founder (human), it’s reasonable to think of a counterbalance. While most VCs want founders to go all-in (a sick expectation), I prefer the barbell strategy introduced by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in Antifragile. Quoting the author, "The strategy involves extreme risk aversion on one side and extreme risk-loving on the other, rather than just the 'medium' or the beastly 'moderate' risk attitude that is actually a sucker game (because medium risks can be subjected to huge measurement errors)."
This bimodal approach is worth applying in the private area (e.g., financial safety) but also when considering your company strategy. I'll write more about it someday.
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