Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Tool For Seeing Clear

You need an analogy upon which you can compare and contrast your own situation, to derive some sense of it.  For me it has been the music business.  So many parts of it are absurd, and other parts stone cold truth, that it is probably the best analogy, as far as I am concerned.

On one hand, music has a total of four notes.  That is it.  From those four notes, all music proceeds.  Just as the entire computer industry is based on silica (Silicon valley), that is the kind of sand necessary for computers to exist, and probably the most common element in the universe (or is it carbon?), so what you do with sand or notes upon all depends.  In other words, design is everything.

As to compare and contrast, on one hand we have the utterly delusional, insane, evil regime of intellectual property rights, in music of all things!  How did food and clothing escape IPR but not music?  (Yes, 97% of USA corn is GMO, and under patent, but it is not food, it is poison as far as I can tell, and anyone who eats it is taken out of the gene pool early anyway as suppressed science suggests, so never mind that.)

At the same time, with those mere four notes in music, with time and melody, all music proceeds.  Everything else, which notes, harmony, timbre, key, chords, arrangement and dynamics, is all up to design.  Like computers, in music design is everything.  It can yield the best song extant ever composed, Greensleeves, or its nadir (Gud hjålp oss) Torn Between Two Lovers.

And Wynton Marsalis notes all songs are about God or love.  Such much for themes. (If not, the are novelty songs, empty.)

So with the music business is at once utterly basic and utterly nonsensical.  That can help when wondering how to handle a product that has become a fad.

I found this article full of points that cross all boundaries:
Most people start out in this game looking for that “thing,” whether it be a special insight, indicator or strategy, that will show them how to win. They think if they can just find the secrets to what make the greats great, then they will be set. But in reality, if there is any secret at all, it is that there is no secret.
Yes!  So many people look for the angle in international trade, when there is none. It is the same in any busininess, find a need and fill it.  Yet everyone else teaches "find a met need and study it" ... good luck with that. People feeling smart try to take that a step further, and try to find some names in trade data in hopes of interposing their offer.  Good luck.  And then
Mark Spitznagel wrote in "The Dao of Capitalthat the most valuable lesson he learned from his Chicago trading pit mentor, Everett Klipp, was that “you’ve got to love to lose money.” If you love to take small losses then you will never take a large one. That is important because it is the large ones that will kill you.
Yes, lcl moq fob.  Entrepreneurs never take risks.  We have orders for what we buy, and we study the feedback on what we sell.  And then step forward based on science.  Countless tiny errors are data points supporting ever more better iterations of the product mix.  And then
Livermore’s occasional failure to follow this rule is what led to the multiple blowups he experienced throughout his career. He lost when he failed to follow his advice that it is “foolhardy to make a second trade, if your first trade shows you a loss. Never average losses. Let this thought be written indelibly upon your mind.”
Yes, indeed, even the teachers fail to follow their own advice, and end up obliged to cut a deal with BigLots! to get rid of a big lot of mistake.  The analogy here is change if you take a loss, and entrepreneurs take a profit on every deal, especially their very first.    Anyone who plans to take a loss "to get a foot in the door" or whatever rationale, should stop and reconsider another field.  The point is lifestyle, but losing money is not a viable lifestyle.

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Anonymous said...

Fail fast, fail early and fail small (learn from your mistakes, then adjust accordingly, and keep iterating).

John Wiley Spiers said...

Slight amendment... fail fast fail cheap... fail fast and fail early is tautological.

Anonymous said...

I think "fail small" can mean be both failing small in terms of the actual product change which is incremental and in financial cost.

John Wiley Spiers said...

Right on... and since we deal in incremental iterations, each failure informs a better design, and thus more market, each event... but recall, we are designing only to the extent that the given design draws enough orders to cover the suppliers minimum... design is critical, but we only want enough each iteration to get to the next iteration.