Having written just recently about the Food Network show “Chopped” as its focus (intended or not) is to create losers, yet on the surface this would seem to be the case for “all” competition. However this isn’t the case as all competition is not created equally if you will and that is what we discuss today as some forms are “open” while yet others are “closed”, so what does this mean in the bigger scheme of things? Well first let step back and look at each.
Here the Open Competition Cycle: Is a kin to the professional “Football” player as he has many Sundays (with any luck) to ply his craft before feeling the outcome. In other words if he has a bad week and loses the game, he gets to “play again” to make up for it and therefore lives in a world of averages.
As we can see here our grid iron hero is a product of his average production and therefore even though he may “lose”, he is not a loser if you will. This is an important distinction to make when we start to look at the next scenario so we see how it fits together and how in the end we can leverage it or at least avoid stepping on it.
Yet the Closed Competition Cycle: Is the professional “Russian Roulette” player who keeps playing till the first time he loses and then that’s it, done and over with no more playing. There’s no playing average here on a losing basis as in our Football playing friends example as here it’s all or nothing.
While I don’t personally know many of these professional Russian Roulette players and there is most likely a good reason for this, the fact is we play “Russian Roulette” far more times then we think it’s just that our mortality isn’t on the line for the final wager. As in the Chopped post if I was a high end restaurant owner, would I hire a “Chopped” chef? The answer would be no way as human nature has an unkind side to it and before you know it the place would be referred that restaurant with the “chopped” chef.
Now it’s not to say that some of these folks haven’t gone on with or too reasonable employment after being “chopped” as in the end this isn’t Russian Roulette after all. However tainted goods they are as we all (I would think) have that “thing” [or things] which has tainted us in some way as we are human after all. However my point and the reason for using the “extreme” analogy of the Russian Roulette player is that in this case no amount of money is worth a human life so the imbalance becomes clear. However life typically isn’t that simple so we make mistakes.
When I say “mistakes”, I mean our eyes typically become larger then our stomach’s when it comes to things such as this and we make the “wrong” decision in the end which leads to us regretting it. Again using the show “Chopped” as an example, what is its goal? If you answered find the best chef out of four your wrong, as the goal is to entertain the viewer and they want the drama and that is created by losers. As look at the break down, you basically spend 55 minutes watching people lose (note how even during the process they point the failures out rather than the kudos).
The extreme of Russian Roulette is also used to point out that the issues isn’t in taking risks as if this was the case, no one should drive and we should all fly. It’s first and foremost understanding the risks and second understanding the reward or the relative estimation of in advance so a balance can be made between the two. As its here when discussing this I always seem to hear, “well with thinking like this we wouldn’t have gotten to the moon”, to that I retort “thank you for agreeing with me”. As after the puzzled look, the answer is a simple one as this [kind of] thinking is what got us to the moon, in that while as pointed out the risks and rewards were both very high. Yet they were in “balance” as significant controls where in place to “balance” the risk. In other words this wasn’t a Myth Buster attempt at taping a bunch of Chinese rockets to a chair and simply “hoping” for the best…