Gustavo Ballvé on January 19th, 2011
Corporate Strategy, Food for thought, Home, Investment Themes, Mental models, Portfolio Management, Risk management, Signal or Noise

Great article sent by a reader, who by the way has now sent two great suggestion this year. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about entrepreneurs and how they’re supposedly much more risk-averse than usually assumed. While one can make the usual complaints about Gladwell’s articles (few, carefully selected samples to reach the desired conclusion) – and there has been the usual backlash – the most interesting takeaway is not whether all entrepreneurs are like what Mr. Gladwell says they are. It’s the quest for opportunities with asymmetrical success probabilities.

Interestingly enough, one of the sources he quotes in the articles is a book called “The Illusions of Entrepreneurship”, and a writer who had a glowing review about that book in turn had rough words to say about the article. The guy absolutely loses all reason in the 2nd half of his review by calling financial-world types such as John Paulson “parasitic”, but he does have a few valid points in the beginning. Likewise, the comments in this Business Week review of Gladwell’s article also reflect skepticism. We wonder how much of a sport “Gladwell-bashing” has become, but he does lower his guard a lot. The most important point almost got lost in the noise.

Keep those suggestions coming!

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