My lovely wife gave me a little push back on here way out the door this morning on my post the other day so I wanted to try and take some time to clarify my position.
So here goes nothing…I don’t have an issue with people working for companies. My wife works for the biggest employer in Philadelphia…and I’m glad she does. It has given me the leverage I needed to grow my businesses, to do various projects, and an excellent college tuition benefit for our daughter. And, as I mentioned in the earlier post I’ve worked for 3 fortune 100 company’s…and I loved my time at all of them.
You just need to understand something, it’s that organizations don’t want brilliant people. And they don’t breed brilliance. Exceptional people yes…not ‘brilliant’ ones. A business primarily needs average people so the organization can grow effeciently. It’s just how business works.
It’s not ironic that brilliant people (like Einstein, Jobs, Gates) tend to have problems existing within the constructs of organizations. Why…because the rules of organizations don’t make sense to them and they end of breaking them. That’s not to say that there are no brilliant people in large companies, or that brilliant people have never worked for companies. I know there are. A brilliant doctor recently removed my cancerous prostate. Einstein, Jobs, and Gates all had jobs at some point. Steve Jobs worked at Atari. But he was so difficult to understand that he had to work alone…after hours…when there were no other people around. That’s was his brilliance.
The most brilliant investor of our time says something similar. That is that if you give your money to a fund manager you’ll only get average returns at best. Why…because fund managers, and the companies they work for have fees, and expenses (the organizational rules), which result in average and most often below average returns. What’s the Oracle of Oklahoma say is your best chance of getting a brilliant, or exceptional return. Free yourself of the organization, and the fund manager and manage your investment yourself. Just stick your money in a low cost S&P Index Fund and you’ll be guranteed average. Read a few books and hand select 7 to 20 stocks yourself and you’re far more likely to get an exceptional, or possibly brilliant return on your money. Hey, not my words they come from brilliant Warren Buffett. And I can verify first hand that the later strategy has worked for me.
Finally, I think most marketers would agree that Seth Godin is among the most brilliant among us. Compared to Seth I’m just average. See I said it…I’m in the same club as those still working for the man. But the best chance I have to do something brilliant, to breakout form the pack is to free myself of the constraints that a large organization would place on me. I say that fully aware that I might find myself in another organziation working for the man some day….because the only thing that makes what I’m trying to do worth it is the idea that…it might not work.