Every day in the business world is a gamble. If you believe in your product and its chance of succeeding then you will bet heavily on it prospering. A successful business person is someone who can take calculated risks. People who in live in fear should never find themselves at rock bottom. That is a place that many business folk know only too well but they will never find themselves breaking on through that monetary glass ceiling.
In theory, gambling on a business is not too dissimilar to sports betting. Let us look at the Cheltenham Festival, which is an upcoming horse racing event. You can draw comparisons with any business move. If you were to look at the Cheltenham Festival odds, you will see who the favourite is and who you should back. In the business world this is effectively looking at your competitors and determining your odds of success in lieu of your competitors.
The art of gambling is a fundamental of business success. So, what are some of the boldest business gambles that have paid off?
Mark Pincus – Zynga
Zynga came to everyone’s attention during the Farmville and Mafia Wars (both Zynga games) Facebook revolution a few years back. However, Pincus would not have been able to have the funds to finance Zynga if it were not for his hard-ball tactics with his initial company Freeloader. With cash all but up, Pincus managed to line up a prospective financier, who was willing to invest but wanted their own CEO at the helm – rather than Pincus himself. Despite being in financial dire straits, Pincus held out and eventually turned the investment down. His gamble paid off as a few months later he found another investor before selling the company for a good price. Had Pincus opted for the original investor we may never have had those infuriating Farmville notifications. Would that be so much as a bad thing?
Henry Ford – Ford
by FotoArt MB
Nobody on earth can dispute the legacy and importance of Henry Ford. Every vehicle on our roads owes Ford dearly. The tycoon was well known for his daring, innovative risks. In order to drive up demand, Ford slashed prices to the point where he risked running up losses on the Model T. Ford also saw the importance of a happy workforce, something that no other employer had realised at this point. Despite the potential financial connotations, Ford reduced the working hours and increased wages for his workers with the hope it will keep them at the factory for a longer period of time before quitting. This appreciation of the workforce could have backfired spectacularly, instead it drove the workers on and helped Ford conquer the motor world.
Richard Branson – Virgin
The hugely popular Virgin owner Richard Branson is your classic business success story. Despite his underperformance at school, Branson managed to carve out a fantastic career for himself thanks in no small part to his embracing of risk. One of the entrepreneur’s mottos is to “be bold…don’t gamble”. That is something he did with much aplomb with his talent acquisition at Virgin Records, with Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells being a prime example.
Donald Trump – The Trump Organization
by Gage Skidmore
Behind the media persona is one of the savviest businessmen in the world. Nobody can ever question Donald Trump’s business acumen. Here is a man who has ridden both the wave and declared himself bankrupt. In fact, he has declared his companies bankrupt on four occasions. Despite these knockbacks, Trump always remains headstrong. He gets back on his horse and gets back to his work. It really is testament to his nature that despite the constant setbacks, most of which come from failed risks, he manages to take on further risks and make it back to the top. Donald Trump is the ultimate gambler in business and for that he has to be saluted.