There is a lot to think about in this week’s challenge. If I can breakdown Gladwell’s main ideas from David & Goliath:
- True underdogs have an overwhelming advantage due to the fact that:
- they breakdown the established status quo of incumbents
- they see the “game” fundamentally different than incumbents
- often break with mores & rules held by incumbents
- Disadvantages can give rise to overwhelming & exceptional strength
- though only happens in a very small segment
- those that don’t rise see decreased utility overall (econ term sorry :D)
- Oft held truths often have a U-Curve where additional effort works counter to your intended purpose
- use of metrics and benchmarking can help uncover wasted efforts
Ultimately it would seem that so called underdogs (Davids) hold an advantage over incumbents (and so called Goliaths). They do this by allowing themselves greater flexibility in the efforts and strategies employed over their peers. These are the innovators that challenge existing rules and excel due to this added flexibility. The very rules and establishment hinders the flexibility and ability to innovate necessary to to see exceptional strength rise!
I think that we ultimately cheer for underdogs as we (subconsciously or not) want to see the innovation and improvement in the status quo, that only underdogs and rebels can bring. Whether or not we realize, we favour this change as we fundamentally believe that change (any change) brings about a net increase (in whatever metric).
What was striking for me, was that Gladwell’s David & Goliath has shown me is that all of us fall into the trap of failing to quantify and analyse what has happened. Rarely (if ever) do we take the time to reflect what we have done against key metrics (and historics are not enough!) to establish meaning and validity to our actions. Introspection and thought is an important aspect of this dance between the Davids & Goliaths of the world, and without it Davids always turn into Goliaths in the end.
An eye opening and interesting read!!!
Content: 5 stars
Ease of Reading: 5 stars