Incremental vs Extreme Change
rc3.org quotes from a conversation between Malcolm Gladwel and Bill Simmons (which I haven’t read). This portion of Gladwell’s quote really intrigued me:
The [full court basketball] press doesn’t guarantee victory. It simply represents the underdog’s best chance of victory. It raises their odds from zero to maybe 50-50. I think, in fact, that you can argue that a pressing team is always going to have real difficulty against a truly elite team. But so what? Everyone, regardless of how they play, is going to have real difficulty against truly elite teams. It’s not a strategy for being the best. It’s a strategy for being better.
I have this conversation often with my friend Justin: Business strategy is not a zero-sum game. I think a lot of companies go out of business trying to find their silver bullet instead of just diversifying their revenue streams and ultimately building something stronger. As a culture we tend to value extreme change over incremental change, regardless of the costs associated.