In the last two articles, I compared the “incremental change” people with the “massive change” people: The index fund investor vs the angel investor.
As you may have guessed, neither one of these is “superior”. The fun of business strategy is finding which of these approaches is right for the challenge you're currently facing.
Let’s look at some of the risks and rewards I’ve noticed with both approaches.
Risk: Your company can die a slow death if you fail to respond to changes in your market. Also, treading water is a real possibility if your gains in one area of your company are equal to the deterioration in another area. For some personalities, treading water is a sure fire recipe for burnout and disillusionment.
Reward: Compounding gains are a real thing, and there are industries where turtles are winners. Big winners. If you absolutely love your company and you can see even the smallest evidence of compounding gains, stay the course!
Risk: Investment is a good analogy for business because there’s a lag between investment and reward. In plain language, your company could be on the path to massive success and you could throw it all away because you’re too impatient. It's like chopping down a five-year-old pecan tree and using it for firewood because it hasn’t produced a single nut.
Reward: Imagine if Elon would have stayed at Paypal or Bezos would have stayed on Wall Street. Sometimes your first thing is not your best thing, and major shifts lead to major paydays. If you hate your company or your life as it currently stands, it might be time to make a major change.
How do YOU decide whether a challenge requires incremental or massive change?