"It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Once upon a time, there was a family of three; a father, a mother and a son, who were traveling on a country road with their bull. By the time they reached a town they were very tired. The parents asked their young son to ride on the bull.
The people in the town saw them and started commenting, “What kind of a son would make their old parents walk while enjoying leisurely ride in such a heat?” The son, feeling embarrassed, got down and asked his mother to ride on the bull.
As they traveled further, they encountered more town people who commented, “What kind of a woman she is, making a poor child and an old husband walk in such a heat while enjoying the ride?” Feeling bad, the mother got down and asked the father to ride.
As they went further and reached a market, the entire crowd exclaimed, “What kind of shameless man would make his nice wife and a little child walk while relaxing on the bull?
He also got down in a shame. But realizing that they were very tired, they decided that all of them should ride on the bull. And you know what happened?
Half an hour later, the bull collapsed because of heavy weight on it and the poor creature died. The town people laughed at the family, “What kind of foolish people would do such cruelty against a poor animal?”
In the late 80s, a small and promising company with excellent intellectual property in Integrated Circuit (IC) design hired a CEO from a large company. The rumor had it that in his previous company, Mr. CEO was famous for implementing "programs of the quarter" based on the last seminar he attended or last publications he read. True to his reputation, Mr. CEO, after reading an article about the success of vertical integration in another company, decided to expand into the board and systems business. Soon after the 50-person company lost focus on their core competency, and wasted a lot of resources in a business that they did not fully understand. And like the poor bull, the company with great potential and direction collapsed.
“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson