As humans, we’re particularly susceptible to cheering on the Rudy’s, Rocky’s and Rebel Alliances of the world. Contrarianism + optimism is a dangerously attractive combination. We just love odds-beaters so much (and for good reasons).
Tech entrepreneur and investor Elad Gill recently told Kara Swisher that it’s easy to be contrarian, but it’s hard to be contrarian and right. Gill can help us to temper that dangerous optimism.
Being contrarian can at times sound smart. Really smart. If everyone thinks one way and I make some profound statement in the other direction, I’ll definitely stand out.
“Everyone thinks trade wars are bad, but what if they’re actually good?”
How do we tell “outstanding in a field” from “out standing in a field” – ?!
Intelligently differentiated today and the outcomes of disastrously wrong or magically correct are only knowable in hindsight.
We’re often quick to forget that markets and groups tend to get things mostly right most of the time. If the participants are smart, the consensus is really hard to bet against and win.
While many entrepreneurs have seen a market and chosen to defy it, the majority never make it. They fail before we’ve ever heard of them.
One of Gill’s insights is that it pays to be obsessed with the environment that people are operating in.
To be contrarian and have a chance, there’s a certain ripeness of market attitudes and opportunities that have to be surrounding them which he’s looking for.
More so, as appears to be the topic of his new book, High Growth Handbook, the way a company scales their personnel as they start to experience success in those environments can equally make or break them.
For those obsessed with processes over outcomes, start with this interview and consider the book.