Matt HealeyWednesday,30 July 2014

The Snap:

Fear cuts deeper than swords”. This was a quote from Game of Thrones. Personally I like the quote because it explains exactly the problems that some people face. They are so afraid that they cannot move forward. The fear has cut deep than swords.

The Download:

George R. R. Martin was not the first person to have recognized this fact. Going back in history we can look to John Paul Jones who said “It seems to be a law of nature, inflexible and inexorable, that those who will not risk cannot win.” Or we could look to the future and read the wise words of Michael Garibaldi in an exchange with G’Kar “It’s easy to fight when you’ve got a lot of ships to work with. The real crunch comes when you are down to almost nothing. Then you either play it safe and you probably lose it all or you take a chance.

You have to take a chance. You have to take a risk. The problem is that the fear stops you. What if it doesn’t work out? What if I fail? The problem is that not taking the chance is more dangerous than taking the chance and failing. To understand this all you have to do is look to industry. In the tech sector there have been no successful companies that have not taken a chance. Sure, look at the startups like Amazon, Google, etc. but the list does not end there. IBM was left for dead in the 1990s and they decided to risk it all to become a services company. Look at where they are now. On the other side, look at Sun. They were a tech darling in the 2000s. Then with eroding hardware margins they refused to alter their approach and risk their revenue. The result: They were acquired by Oracle. The same holds true in investing. Over the long term, a 20 year time horizon, the risky stock market beats all other safe investments. Given all of this empirical evidence it stuns me that people are still so afraid to take a risk.

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Image Credit: Flickr (converted to black and white)

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