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« Easy Money | Main | Out of the Box Thinking »

June 11, 2009


Your former colleague at (Chipset company)

Now here is a contrasting story, Brownian Motion Leadership (Brownian motion is the theory of random movement of particles in fluid by Robert Brown and made famous by Albert Einstein). In late 80s, there was an Integrated Circuits start up in Sunnyvale, Ca specializing in Chipsets, leader at the time in their field, filled with brilliant engineers and real good designs and Intellectual property. They hired CEO from a large company. The rumor had it that he was very nice person, curious and famous in his previous company for implementing program of the month based on the last book he read.
Do not know what books he had read last, but he put forward a grand vision of making a small company with 50 people in to a large systems house. Invested in building PC boards and then based on the next book invested in building computer systems; none of which were the core strength of his people, diluted the resources, created huge customer issues, product reworks and returns. The company lost focus on its core which was Integrated Circuits and eventually ran out of money. Amen.

from wisdom saying that I heard

This is true. If you have understood 'it', you can explain it with simple words. And even elementary school kid could understand.
However, when you don't, it's getting even more complex.

micro CEO

On my mobile phone, I have this game called "Bubble Breaker". It is addicting, and also a good stress relief game because it requires just enough strategy and thinking to keep the player occupied, but it isn't a highly intellectual burden. Kind of like Tetris.

The object of the game is to eliminate certain bubbles to create a connected chain (or chains) of bubbles of the same color. The thing about this game is that the points increase exponentially with longer connected chains. 2 are worth 2 points; 3 are worth 6; 4 are worth 12 points; 23 connected bubbles of the same color are worth over 500 points, etc.

You may be wondering, how is such a game related to this discussion of leadership and constancy of purpose. (Admittedly, it sometimes saps my constancy of purpose to do useful things at lunchtime...)

Well, the point is that it is easy to get sucked into a desire to neatly clear the board of all colors (only in increments of smaller chains). This is psychologically pleasing, to think that you can work to get rid of all the bubbles. But it's counterproductive and the final score is invariably mediocre to aim for such a target of multitasking. Much more effective and powerful is the strategy to say, "Now I will concentrate on just purple, and focus on creating the longest possible chain of this one color. Everything else is secondary." This approach feels riskier, and it even requires applying more focus and brain power. If well planned and executed, this approach can result in a very high score. By my estimate, the difference between these approaches is not 20% or 50% or even 200%. It's more like 500% (5x more effective)!

Is this simple game with it's exponential scoring system similar to the game of life (and business) that we all play? Yes, I think it is.

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