Chapter 9. Making Better Business Decisions


If necessity is the mother of invention, discontent is the father of progress.

 --David Rockefeller

One way of looking at the world of business is as an imperfect system ruled by chaos, where chance and fate define the ultimate outcome of any personal venture or enterprise. This view is supported every few decades by the large number of people and companies who profit simply because they seemingly happen to be at the right place at the right time. In the 1970s, for example, investing in real estate in the United States was a sure thing. Anyone with enough money to invest in real estate was virtually guaranteed a return on investment whose rate would beat the prime rate if they held on to the property for a year or two. Early investors in the dotCom companies saw phenomenal returns as well—as long as they did not hold on to the stock too long. It was so easy to make money on tech stocks that many people quit their regular jobs to become day traders. However, this state of affairs was short-lived. The fundamental and underlying understanding of when to invest or divest is the true power of the successful visionary business alchemist. The ever-present question is: When will the next wave of opportunity hit and how can one identify the proper timing to enter a new market?

One way to approach that question is to look at the world as a complex web of cause and effect, where some events can be controlled and other factors cannot—either because ...

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