Start Up (7) – Business Decisions – Betting on the Future!?

Well – if you are perfectly honest, you must admit that business decisions, in particular, are always betting on the future!

After all: all decisions have a factor of uncertainty. And they must be relevant. This is the very definition of a decision. Consequently, every business decision, including the founding of an enterprise, is a bet. Basically, the founder of an enterprise bets on how his development will be judged on a huge market.

True entrepreneurs will bet with their own money. They put their own work, their own capital and their own knowledge into the scale. Once in a while, they will also bet for their existence – and occasionally they lose the bet.

For managers who have been employed (such as the directors of DAX enterprises), it is a bit easier – they bet with other people’s money. This might well work – as long as they remain “upright merchants”. Except that is what they forget too often. Would you like me to give you a few names?

Why don’t we start a brain game and bet on a beautiful business: soccer? Who is going to be German Champion in 2014/2015. We will probably win if we say FC Bayern.

Now let us make it harder. Let us bet on what the statistics will say at the end of the season. Or maybe the results of individual match days, the goal shooters, how the actual matches will be played…

🙂 And I bet that almost all bets will be wrong.

Now you will protest: stop, because we spectators cannot do anything about it. Whereas an entrepreneur can influence procedures and shape his company.

OK, so let us do the same betting again. Now you are no longer just spectators, but players. Imagine you as a team of founders are both the players and coaches of a league team. And I will leave it simple: You will only have to bet on your own matches, that is: those where your own players are active. Well, that should work, shouldn’t it? Except…?

How much influence do you actually have – both in life and in soccer? Can you really influence the bets and along with them the decisions? As you can see, this stupid betting on the future is all but a guarantee for success.

Consequently, here is what I recommend:

If you are a start-up, don’t start with the very big bets. Instead, start small. As I always repeat: totally agile. In this way, you will develop a chain of small “dynamic bets” and will always just bet on the next step ahead.

Now you might reply: but there are the huge successes we get to read about every day. Did not someone bet well there?

Actually: one will always bet correctly. He is the winner.

Like in the SpVgg Unterhaching “VIP Lounge”. I have been watching the lottery there for years. The guests, and I gladly count myself one of them, bet on the results of the day.
And although there are nowhere near as many participants as probably with the FC Bayern, I remember only once that the betting contest had no winner. That was years ago in the second league – and at the time the SpVgg won 7:0 against Saarbrücken. Yet, the poor Hachingers still had to leave the league at the end of the season.

As I said: one will always be the winner. And “The winner takes it all”. But how many play and how many win!?

(Translated by EG)

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