The Cult of Mediocrity

  • Things that jigged my old memory box:

    I agree with Miles Neale that its a choice you make as the individual whether you're prepared to take risks and seeking it out rather than waiting around somewhere for it to seek you out or others to create the "right" environment - choosing to be a pioneer instead of a victim. If one needs the right environment then you may not be so successful in pulling off a risky venture.

    In today's success and performance culture that mocks the "losers" it probably reduces the pool of potential risk takers to those who don't care if they may have to fail spectacularly in order to succeed.

    In Corporates it looks like the risk-reward game has mainly for the senior management team and their shareholders as participants. The stakes are often great but then its also most often at these lofty heights where the axe falls when things go sour.

  • Here is another good example of the difference:

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fort-lauderdale/fl-lauderdale-i-95-pedestrian-fatality-20120620,0,500603.story

    There is a very big difference between taking a calculated risk or gamble and doing just plain stupid behavior. 😀

    "Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"

  • One other thing about the three entrepreneurs you cited: they all achieved their success without a dime of government stimulus (i.e taxpayers money).

    The Wright Brothers had a competitor in their quest to be the first to achieve powered flight: Samuel Langley. Langley received a total of $70,000 in government money to develop his airplane (about $1M in todays dollars). We all know how his effort turned out: the wing broke before he could even get airborne.

    The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival.

  • sturner (6/26/2012)


    One other thing about the three entrepreneurs you cited: they all achieved their success without a dime of government stimulus (i.e taxpayers money).

    Counterpoint: the Apollo space program.

  • patrickmcginnis59 (6/26/2012)


    sturner (6/26/2012)


    One other thing about the three entrepreneurs you cited: they all achieved their success without a dime of government stimulus (i.e taxpayers money).

    Counterpoint: the Apollo space program.

    Its not really a counter-point. While that program was successful in achieving its goal (landing on the moon), it was not a business venture that had a goal of becoming a self sustaining profitable business. We spent zillions of dollars on this effort, far more than any business could have come up with from an IPO. The US space program eventually ended with a whimper and with no long term viability. Nowadays, if you want to deliver a payload to the space station, you'll be riding on a private space rocket... designed and built with an actual business plan, private investors and able to meet a budget.

    You can be successful for a while if you can print and throw money at something (ie Solindra) but eventually you have to provide a viable service and actually make a profit or you go bankrupt. Government has a miserable track record doing that.

    The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival.

  • sturner (6/26/2012)


    patrickmcginnis59 (6/26/2012)


    sturner (6/26/2012)


    One other thing about the three entrepreneurs you cited: they all achieved their success without a dime of government stimulus (i.e taxpayers money).

    Counterpoint: the Apollo space program.

    Its not really a counter-point. While that program was successful in achieving its goal (landing on the moon), it was not a business venture that had a goal of becoming a self sustaining profitable business. We spent zillions of dollars on this effort, far more than any business could have come up with from an IPO. The US space program eventually ended with a whimper and with no long term viability. Nowadays, if you want to deliver a payload to the space station, you'll be riding on a private space rocket... designed and built with an actual business plan, private investors and able to meet a budget.

    You can be successful for a while if you can print and throw money at something (ie Solindra) but eventually you have to provide a viable service and actually make a profit or you go bankrupt. Government has a miserable track record doing that.

    I can agree with you on that. For instance, having a clean environment is typically not a business goal, and thus you get the expected results. Theres just no profit in it.

  • sturner (6/26/2012)


    patrickmcginnis59 (6/26/2012)


    sturner (6/26/2012)


    One other thing about the three entrepreneurs you cited: they all achieved their success without a dime of government stimulus (i.e taxpayers money).

    Counterpoint: the Apollo space program.

    Its not really a counter-point. While that program was successful in achieving its goal (landing on the moon), it was not a business venture that had a goal of becoming a self sustaining profitable business. We spent zillions of dollars on this effort, far more than any business could have come up with from an IPO. The US space program eventually ended with a whimper and with no long term viability. Nowadays, if you want to deliver a payload to the space station, you'll be riding on a private space rocket... designed and built with an actual business plan, private investors and able to meet a budget.

    You can be successful for a while if you can print and throw money at something (ie Solindra) but eventually you have to provide a viable service and actually make a profit or you go bankrupt. Government has a miserable track record doing that.

    Too bad our government can't collect royalties off patents used to develop commercial products when government monies (taxpayer dollars) paid for it to begin with.

  • patrickmcginnis59 (6/26/2012) I can agree with you on that. For instance, having a clean environment is typically not a business goal, and thus you get the expected results. Theres just no profit in it.

    Disagree. Environmental responsibility brings profit through good PR and not having government bureaucrats and environmental watchdogs investigating your business.

    Jay Bienvenu | http://bienv.com | http://twitter.com/jbnv

  • "I can agree with you on that. For instance, having a clean environment is typically not a business goal, and thus you get the expected results. Theres just no profit in it."

    So what you are implying is that any business that desires to be profitable obviously must be destroying the planet to do it? lol Even in the face of irrefutable facts some people are just true believers.

    The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival.

  • "Too bad our government can't collect royalties off patents used to develop commercial products when government monies (taxpayer dollars) paid for it to begin with."

    If the royalties they collected went back to the taxpayers from whom the money was obtained then I'd be all for it. Unfortunately it would just be spent... on more government programs that buy votes and hire yet even more government employees.

    The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival.

  • Lynn Pettis (6/26/2012)


    sturner (6/26/2012)


    patrickmcginnis59 (6/26/2012)


    sturner (6/26/2012)


    One other thing about the three entrepreneurs you cited: they all achieved their success without a dime of government stimulus (i.e taxpayers money).

    Counterpoint: the Apollo space program.

    Its not really a counter-point. While that program was successful in achieving its goal (landing on the moon), it was not a business venture that had a goal of becoming a self sustaining profitable business. We spent zillions of dollars on this effort, far more than any business could have come up with from an IPO. The US space program eventually ended with a whimper and with no long term viability. Nowadays, if you want to deliver a payload to the space station, you'll be riding on a private space rocket... designed and built with an actual business plan, private investors and able to meet a budget.

    You can be successful for a while if you can print and throw money at something (ie Solindra) but eventually you have to provide a viable service and actually make a profit or you go bankrupt. Government has a miserable track record doing that.

    Too bad our government can't collect royalties off patents used to develop commercial products when government monies (taxpayer dollars) paid for it to begin with.

    That wouldn't be altogther a bad thing, but you could also see these patents as progressing the arts for eveybody. If the government provided these results for all, its like an increase in the public domain. We could see a government role in doing the sorts of research that doesn't meet private industry's criteria for profitability but that we as a society might want to get done anyways. I can also see some folks objections to this as being an undesireable increase in the scope of government.

  • sturner (6/26/2012)


    "Too bad our government can't collect royalties off patents used to develop commercial products when government monies (taxpayer dollars) paid for it to begin with."

    If the royalties they collected went back to the taxpayers from whom the money was obtained then I'd be all for it. Unfortunately it would just be spent... on more government programs that buy votes and hire yet even more government employees.

    Or, if not back to the taxpayers directly, at least lower taxes. You are correct, however, government being government with professional politicians in office.

  • Lynn Pettis (6/26/2012)


    sturner (6/26/2012)


    "Too bad our government can't collect royalties off patents used to develop commercial products when government monies (taxpayer dollars) paid for it to begin with."

    If the royalties they collected went back to the taxpayers from whom the money was obtained then I'd be all for it. Unfortunately it would just be spent... on more government programs that buy votes and hire yet even more government employees.

    Or, if not back to the taxpayers directly, at least lower taxes. You are correct, however, government being government with professional politicians in office.

    Exactly. You need look no further than the social [in]security program. Money is taken from people who earn it (I don't ever remember being given a chance to opt out) with the promise that it will be used for them to help with their retirement. Instead, the money is spend as fast (and even faster) than it comes in on whatever program politicians feel will benefit them or their re-election. Bernie Madoff went to prison for basically doing something similar, except even he didn't just take the money from people, they opted to do it.

    The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival.

  • sturner (6/26/2012)


    "I can agree with you on that. For instance, having a clean environment is typically not a business goal, and thus you get the expected results. Theres just no profit in it."

    So what you are implying is that any business that desires to be profitable obviously must be destroying the planet to do it?

    Must it be black or white, are there no grey areas, no need to compromise? For instance if a single bad acting company polluted the environment, would I have to eliminate the entire free market as unworkable? Or rather would this one bad company that pollutes be able to compete better on costs than the other non polluting companies, and thus win in the market or otherwise force the other companies to pollute?

    Or would all companies simply agree not to pollute?

    Or do you simply have no opinion on this?

    lol Even in the face of irrefutable facts some people are just true believers.

    True believers in what?

  • patrickmcginnis59 (6/26/2012)


    Or would all companies simply agree not to pollute?

    Or do you simply have no opinion on this?

    In your mind all companies *must* pollute something in order to make a profit (which you don't seem to like). I disagree. Most companies are good & responsible entities, that hire people, pay them salaries & benefits pay taxes and in fact, do not *pollute*.

    I disagree with your assertions that without government (ie a bunch of self serving politicians) all companies would pollute the planet and we would all die. If you knew how much pollution of the atmosphere occurs when the space shuttle blasts off you would freak out. But that's okay because its the government and its not making a profit.

    As you can see I do have an opinion. It just differs from yours.

    The probability of survival is inversely proportional to the angle of arrival.

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