Caution Isn’t A Dirty Word

One of life’s greatest guilty pleasures not discussed in polite company is being proven correct when everyone couldn’t help themselves to tell you had no clue. Not that they wanted to discuss why you were wrong, or what was your thesis for being contrarian to everyone at the time. No, the ones that just want to shout like a 12-year-old across a schoolyard: “Nah, Nah, you don’t know what you’re talking about!” When this crowd suddenly falls silent, that’s when it’s most gratifying.

Being an entrepreneur of any stripe will at times leave one with feelings of isolation. These are the times that try the will and fortitude on whether to believe the research you’ve done in analysis of any given endeavor. Or should one just relent to the crowd, and say “I must be wrong because so many are telling me so.”

It’s in these moments far too many entrepreneurs falter. Not because someone has disproved their rational or analysis, but they point to flawed examples as some empirical proof. Yet just because it seems correct at first blush doesn’t necessarily mean it is what everyone “believes” it to be.

Illusions, as real as they can seem to a great many doesn’t make them real. However arguing against such claims can be akin to ancient times when one would then be hauled off and branded a heretic…literally!

It’s one thing to go with the flow, or ride a trend till it exhausts itself. You don’t always need to be married to the fundamentals, or other aspects of the where, what, or why. Sometimes as an entrepreneur you’ll decide to hitch your wagon and see where it goes. That’s fine. However there are times where crowd mentality, or trend chasers need to be part of the analytic model. You might use some as a sign post to enlighten you as to tread very carefully, or to not venture any longer or further in a given direction.

It ‘s not an easy row to hoe but fortunately I’ve had enough success that I’m not one to shy away from either making a tough call or stand. I’ve experienced firsthand when questioning the reasoning or assumptions of others and found myself in the equivalent of some medieval inquisition.

I don’t have the answers to all of man’s questions. And I’m more than humble enough to eat crow pie when I’m the one cooking, and serving it. However if I’m going to be beaten about the head by what seems like everyone because I express a view (That I’m asked for!) about what appears to be far too many people’s sacred cow. Then when I’m proven correct I’m not afraid to show it either.

To wit here’s a stock chart of Apple® as of today’s close:

Caution isn't a swear to be avoided. Sometimes it's exactly what's called for.
Caution isn’t a swear to be avoided.
Sometimes it’s exactly what’s called for.

Where the company Apple goes from here, or how much lower or higher its stock or market cap goes is anyone’s guess. I’m a great fan of Apple and still believe there is much more innovation and ground breaking products yet to be developed from this company. However when everyone wants to walk in lockstep on anything without the ability, or feeling the necessity to articulate the reasons why or why not while at the same time an unwillingness to defend or change their viewpoint based upon possible new or improved insight. You just can’t try to change their mind.

You’ll just have to wait to see if the circumstances will change it for them.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr