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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Corollary: I didn't know it was a dragon!

Listen up kiddies. Who can recite yesterday's lesson? Sally? Right. "Not everything that looks like a dragon is a dragon." Today we are going to discuss a very important corollary to that theorem.

Not everything that is a dragon looks like a dragon.

I did a quick sum last night and realized that in my ~40 years of working life, I've been part of a start-up company 9 times. That doesn't include being a newspaper carrier before the clock started. Not all of those businesses have been my own, nor have all gone the way of smoke and ashes. I was paid pretty handsomely for my part in one company that was acquired by Microsoft. Of course, that was just before the price of Microsoft stock plummetted in the early part of the last decade. Ah well. I've formed my own business five times.

You'd think I'd learn my lesson. I get this bright shiny new idea. No one else is doing it. I'll start a business. It goes along okay for a while until someone else starts doing it. Or a lot of people. Then suddenly I find that I'm in flames, roasting on a spit in front of a fire-breathing dragon. I drag my charred remains away, vowing that never again will I just walk into a dragon's cave and try to take the jewels.

But as I'm walking along, I see this perfectly good shiny new idea, just lying inside the entrance of this innocuous looking cave. I think, "This looks good. A beautiful shiny idea just waiting there to be picked up. I bet there's more inside the dark hole leading into the mountain." A little while later, I'm being roasted on a spit again. Well, how was I to know it was a dragon? It looked like a perfectly good, bright, shiny new idea. It didn't look like a dragon!

By the way, I'm not the only one who exhibits this behavior. I see it in people's relationships (but he's different!), in jobs (I got a good one this time!), in travel (I'm using a different discount tour company this time!), and even in grocery shopping (I know the kids don't like cornflakes, but Life looks good). I didn't know it was a dragon.

Do I have a remedy? A way to avoid being caught again? A sure-fire way to spot a dragon? No.

But I have a great new idea!