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Last update: 2020-06-24 20:47:51 +0000 UTC

We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.

L. Tolstoy , War and Peace - 1869 A.D.

A tale of two consultants

Date: 11/11/2015, 10:28

Category: tales

Revision: 1

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… There was a planet. Among other things, there were two companies selling shoes on that planet. Both of them had a top-notch consultant, Company1 had Joe and Company2 had Mike. Joe and Mike were the best on the market, they could evaluate opportunities and forecast sales like no one else.

One day, the companies sent the consultants on a new planet to evaluate the shoe market. Joe was there first. After evaluating the market called back and said:

Kill it, these creatures don’t wear shoes. There’s nothing to sell here. I’m coming back.

Mike went two days later. After evaluating the market called back and said:

This is awesome! No one here wears shoes, we must build a production unit here and take over the planet! Call the board immediately!

About 50 years later, Company2 had 80% of the shoe market on the new planet. Company1 joined the the shoe market on the new planet about 30 years later but never gained a substantial market share.

Five years after the events discussed above, the companies sent the consultants on a very well known planet. None of the companies had market share on this planet. Joe was there first and after evaluating the market called back and said:

Hey, there are is huge competition here, but I’ve found flaws on nearly every major player and the market is HUGE! We can make rounds around these guys!! Call the board ASAP.

Mike arrived two days later, after evaluating the market he called back and said:

It’s a very competitive, advanced market. I don’t think there’s room for just another shoe-maker here. I’m coming back

About 50 years later, Company1 had conquered 15% the (apparently very large) planet’s shoe market, multiplying the company’s profits almost 5x times. Company2 never set foot on this planet.

NOTE: This tale was first published on Hacker News.