Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas



January 15, 2013

The Simpleton Strikes Back --- Part 2 of 2

To make a living, we need competence in at least or at most 6 fields, what Warren Buffet and Chralie Munger call "circles of competence."

Outside of these fields we are all outsiders, laymen, rookies, beginners, non-experts.

To run a car factory, you don't have to raise sheep for their skins for car seat leather, or to maintain grassland for those sheep to graze and so on. As the owner of the car factory, you are accountable for a steady supply of quality leather, but you don't have to become a vet, a rancher etc.

If you can and you want to, you may. Like Henry Ford did at one time. His River Rouge Plant became the world's largest industrial complex, pursuing vertical integration to such an extent that it could produce its own steel

But if you cannot or you don't want to, relax.

You already know how to satisfy your accountability without increasing your expertise. You have played the role of the beginner, the simpleton throughout your life successfully. And you can carry it to the next level and the next as much as you wish.

You want evidence? What about Richard Feynman of Quantum Physics, Mark Zuckerberg of FaceBook, Craig Newmark of Craiglist, and Andrew Carnegie of US Steel?

  1. Richard Feynman chose Monte Carlo Simulations. To figure out the unknown part, he repeated parts he knew for thousands of times.
  2. Mark Zuckerberg chose PHP, not Lisp, not Java, to implement Facebook.
  3. Craig got the cool minimalist style for his site because he didn't know much iof web design but just knew how to keep things simple in general.
  4. Andrew Carnegie told his friends that since they were not "practical men," they didn't know which one of 6 steel technologies to bet on. But then, he preached the value of putting all of one's eggs in one single basket.
You can also read about Buffet and Instgram as illustrations for the same principle. Also read about Steve Jobs's reliance on demos in decision-making.

Suppose I want to criticize Usain Bolt, I need to say "yes" to at least one of the following questions :
  1. Can I run faster than him?
  2. Can I train someone to run faster than him?
  3. Can I point to someone running faster than him?
  4. Can I point to someone who can train some one else to run faster than Bolt?
Can we outdo those four simpletons with our clever, sophisticated ways?

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