I think one of the most rewarding parts of life is hard work and achievement.
A somewhat dated documentary called Triumph of the Nerds chronicles the rise of the two companies and the leaders who made it happen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jV3JdtaOGc
Today these business leaders own two of the highest market cap companies. I think Steve Jobs, in particular, is one of the biggest turnaround stories. I respect the competitiveness of Jobs. Michael Dell had previously criticized Apple for poor performance and, in response, Steve Jobs said something about Dell’s computers being grey boxes with little ingenuity. ?Shortly afterwards, Apple’s market cap exceeded Dell’s and he sent out a mass email to employees acknloweding ?this. Now Apple’s market cap exceeds Microsoft, which is an accomplishment that truly exemplifies the potential of applying above average intellectual capital.
Sam Zell, a real estate billionaire, compares Rome’s failure to America’s pending demise:
“How did Rome fall?” Zell asked. Rome fell because people agitated for “more entitlements, more entitlements, more entitlements, until there was no more Rome,” he said. – CNBC
In California, which has a significant debt crises, Arnold Schwarzenegger recently asked for a wage reduction and there is, understandably significant resistance .
Humans, while we learn over time, and there is an “invisible hand” that adjusts inefficiencies to equilibrium. In the progress, to make an omelette, eggs need to be cracked. Sometimes the cracking is significantly more harmful.
As predicted by other experts, the biggest bailouts are yet to come in the CDO market. After studying this challenge for a while, I’ve learned that the point of least resistance is the one where the pressure goes. ?Currently, the risk has been shifted multiple times. Inexpensive debt combined with levering on weak asset classes will inevitably cause nations to fail. ? A few large funds already placed bets have been placed on a few weak European nations.
The following are some some great quotations on trust:
“Trust but verify” – Ronald Reagan
“Don’t trust anyone” – Donald Trump (His son claims he said this to him at a very early age)
“Opportunities are suspects until proven prospects” – (modified version of a phrase with an unknown source)
The fact is that there is a significant portion of people who will not act justly so it’s important to have your guard up. Something as simple as not looking both ways before crossing a street is fatal. Similarly, in business, one small human misunderstanding/deception/human error in judgement can cause you to lose time or money.
The following are seven examples, in no particular order, of the risks associated with too trusting or not skeptical enough:
- Consumer debt
- Ponzi schemes
- Identity Fraud
- Unrealistic overly highly risky investments
- Poor product fulfillment and/or breach of contract
- Misleading products and services
NSFW: Ultimate iPhone 4 Parody
Allegedly, the Best Buy employee who created this video was fired.