Have you heard of this saying: “No one ever got fired for picking Salesforce?” It essentially means, with all of the choices available to us, you can’t necessarily go wrong with choosing the ‘safe’ pick. So, instead of ‘wasting’ time to investigate new options and potentially make a ‘bad’ choice, we play it safe and call Salesforce.
But in today’s hyper-competitive environment, is playing it ‘safe’ good enough anymore? What do you want out of your career, to avoid being fired or are you trying to achieve something more?
We’re not IBM or Accenture or any of the big names you recognize. We’re not well known. In in most minds, ‘not well known’ is a scary choice to consider. We get it, the number of choices available to you when it comes to selecting a new partner is overwhelming! And it’s just easier to pick the well-known company.
Choosing a partner is about probabilities. When you pick a partner, there needs to be a high probability of success. In in most decision maker’s minds, going with a known entity means the probability a good outcome is higher. But is that really true?
Let’s apply this ‘probability’ thought to picking stocks.
Picking a stock like Pfizer or even IBM is a safe bet. Those companies (and their stock) have been around forever, they are well known and their prices have (over time) generally moved up.
But how many of us think “I really wish I would have invested in Facebook five years ago when the price was $19/share!” (As January 2017, the price is around $125/share). We wish we would have, but we picked the so-called ‘safe’ stock. Five years ago, Facebook was still a bit of an unknown.
Finding a new partner is a pain, agreed. But uncovering real value means you have to be contrarian to what the rest of the market is doing. It means you have to turn over some rocks, do some digging and take more of a risk. If “everybody” is doing it, chances are the value of doing that thing has been maximized. There’s not much ‘upside’ left.
Can you generate some value going with the big names in the business? Sure. But are you also limiting your upside? Over the last five years, Facebook is up 325%; IBM is down 7.85%.