Momentum in business, and in life, is like a spiral – when you are on the way up, it seems like nothing could ever stop you, and on the way down, it’s feels the same way. Something very often comes in the way to stop you in your tracks, sometimes soon, and other times late. The one who could do no wrong on the way up, can not get anything right on the way down, and vice versa! To put it in the context of a business, when stock price starts stagnating for some inexplicable reason, suddenly employee retention becomes a problem, and spiral suddenly changes direction 180 degrees.
It would be fun riding on that upward spiral, I imagine; an end to that run would be the last thing on that fortunate person’s mind – almost impossible if he/she cared to think about it. On the other hand, riding a downward spiral would be no fun at all, and, I would argue, that a desperate hope for its end would be that unfortunate person’s obsession. Often, they are not two different persons but the same one at different periods in life.
I’ve been reading a lot of Taleb and wondering about those spirals of life. With a few more stats courses under my belt, I have better appreciation for Nassim Taleb’s work – Fooled by Randomness. Yes, I am reading it a second time, after a long hiatus.
If there is one thing to take away from Taleb’s work, it is to stop pretending to be privy to any such special knowledge of the future, such as when the stars will align in your favor and when they will not.