He who dares wins

  • 1
  • January 26, 2011

He who dares…

Ever seen birds on a wire or a fence? They stand on the edge, perched, observing everything above and in front of them. They cluster and group, finding comfort in numbers. Each all face the same direction waiting for the next opportunity orthreat.

If you look closer you will often notice in a large group, one, maybe two exceptions. They are the odd birds, the ones who dare face the opposite direction. They dare not to fall in line and behave like the rest of the brood. They dare to look in the opposite direction, chancing the risk of not being the first to spot the threat in the direction the brood faces. But, whether they know it or not, the odd birds have made the best choice.

Take for example, 20 birds on a fence. 18 face one direction, 2 face the other. This means 18 birds will spot a threat or an opportunity in one direction and immediately jump to compete for it or escape. Another way to think of this is in terms of mathematical angles. One side of the wire covers 180 degrees. If 18 birds compete for 180 degrees, by simple math they each could claim 10 degrees of opportunity without competing with one another. Now the odd birds, the two of them share the other side of the wires 180 degrees. They each get 90 degrees of coverage before they begin competing with one another for the opportunity. That’s 9 times more opportunity then the grouped birds! Since threats can come from either direction equally, the odd birds are better equipped to react to danger as they are able to spot threats coming from the odd birds direction and rely on the brood to alert them to threats coming from the brood facing side, while the brood is less likely to rely on a single bird flying away from the cluster and so vulnerable to threats from the odd birds direction.

How is this relevant? Be the odd bird. Don’t copy your competitors or follow the trend. Make trends, build markets. Walk without a rhythm and you won’t attract the worm. (Sorry had to throw in a Dune reference). Take chances and you may find the field is wide open, rich with opportunity and little competition. And if things go wrong, fly away and start over doing things differently and eventually you will win.

“He who dares, wins.” It’s the British SAS special forces motto, and you know something, they are right.