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No Mercy No Malice

Hubris

November 11, 2022

The rich get richer.

Data supports it. In the past three decades, the share of U.S. wealth held by the top 1% has gone from 24% to 32%. Like most cliches, “the rich get richer” became a cliche because it’s true… of money, and power. The powerful tend to aggregate more power, incumbents get reelected 90% of the time.

It makes sense. Money buys you power and influence, which begets more money, which buys more power and influence. This is the basis of capital accumulation and wealth creation — a virtuous upward cycle. It’s also the reason we (should) have progressive taxes and regulation: to prevent the natural order of economics from doing its thing, making rich people richer and poor people poorer.

What makes less sense? Why does one person or firm not have all the power? Why don’t a few families control all the wealth, one or two governments control the globe? Why isn’t there a president of Earth? As much as it seems that power and wealth are centralized, the world’s richest man owns just 0.04% of the world’s net worth.

Throughout history, nobody has come close to amassing total control. The mightiest empires were still minority owners of planet Earth. Before her death in 1901, Queen Victoria oversaw a kingdom that spanned roughly a quarter of the globe’s land surface and ruled just 23% of the world’s population. At its peak in 1300, the Mongol Empire controlled about 18% of the Earth. The Roman Empire was even smaller (4%).

As they gained territory and resources, each empire continued to expand. Brits in 1910 had witnessed six decades of growth. With each land grab came greater stores of resources, more coffee and molasses to import to their island. This created new markets and business opportunities to fund more land grabs. And the wheel turned.

However, from the British Empire to the Qing Dynasty to the Ottomans, they all have one thing in common: They all fall.

Balance

A celestial pillar of the universe is that it abhors absolute control. No individual or institution has ever achieved it. Apex predators cannot eliminate their prey without starving themselves. If there are too many wolves eating too many deer, the wolf population declines, as they run out of deer to feed on. Balance is fundamental to ecological systems, and the same is true (over the long term) in our human-made world.

But Why?

A powerful entity or person collapsing under the weight of their own success is not a novel concept. The Ancient Greeks had a word for it: hubris, an excessive confidence in defiance of the gods. For us, it means excessive confidence preceding downfall. Which more or less equates to the same thing, because for the Greeks, defying the gods almost always led to death.

A more recent version of this ancient story that fits our tech-obsessed moment is Frankenstein. Inebriated on his own brilliance, Dr. Frankenstein tries to defy the natural order and create life. In doing so, he makes something too hideous to contain, and that’s his doom. His last words in the novel are an instruction to “avoid ambition.”

Corporate

Corporate hubris takes various forms. Research shows overconfident CEOs are prone to distorting their investment decisions: They overinvest when cash flows are strong, and cut too deep when they need external financing. Case in point is Meta, where we’re witnessing hubris play out in dramatic form. The unconstrained boy-king is betting his company — his shareholder’s company, really — on a fever dream in which he is God in a world littered with Nissan and Nespresso billboards, a “metaverse.” More recently, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried believed he could defy the laws of economics and borrow against large sums of a fake currency he made up. Essentially, Bankman-Fried constructed the Burj Khalifa on a foundation of quicksand. And now comes the fall.

A desire to keep things as they are can also initiate a slow burn to the ground. The innovator’s dilemma is not a function of arrogance, but limits — the limits power imposes. A colleague of mine at NYU, Aswath Damodaran, has done important research on the life cycle of successful corporations. Vibrance and innovation fuel their ascent, but the comforts of cash flows and the desire to keep them flowing make them slow and afraid. The best companies build moats so they can protect their earnings and extend their lifespan. The next best firms recognize they are maturing and age gracefully: They return money to shareholders, distribute dividends, and pay debt down. Also, few CEOs invest the GDP of Costa Rica into a megalomaniacal, yet lame, attempt to replicate our world … without legs. A digital Frankenstein, if you will.

Success can be our undoing when we’re promoted beyond our true capabilities. The Peter principle holds that because people get promoted on the basis of prior performance, they will inevitably rise to the level of their incompetence. Our brains make it easy for our ambition to exceed our ability: The Dunning-Kruger effect describes a demonstrated cognitive weakness, that the less we know about something, the more we overestimate our knowledge. That’s why stupid people, and people who make great cars and then buy media companies, are so dangerous.

This has been a banner week for the powerful coming undone. In no particular order, the largest social network company in history, Meta, which has lost more than two-thirds of its value over the past year, announced it was laying off 11,000 people; the most prominent crypto billionaire lost nearly his entire fortune after he overleveraged his empire to keep it expanding; and the richest man in the world … impregnated a bathroom sink before putting on a master class on how power corrupts.

Elon’s comical first few weeks at Twitter have gone worse than expected, and most people expected a train wreck. As I write this, the most recent news is that Twitter’s senior InfoSec and Privacy executives quit. They haven’t disclosed the details, but it seems likely they were asked to do something they believed to be illegal or unethical. That’s in the midst of an ongoing collapse of verification on the platform, a new policy that “comedy” is allowed (unless you’re making fun of Elon), and a steady flow out the door of the engineers who know how Twitter’s service actually works.

The inevitable collapse of the powerful is a good thing, and I’m glad we live in a universe that embraces this as a governing principle. Absolute power and wealth concentration are incompatible with the innovation that characterizes humanity’s upward movement. The crashing to Earth can cause collateral damage, but it’s a creative destruction.

What is the lesson, what can be learned? Every day, no matter how successful we become, we need to earn our success. We need to be kind and appreciative; we need to surround ourselves with people who will push back on us and question our beliefs and actions. We need to demonstrate humility. You are never more susceptible to a huge mistake than right after a big win, when you begin to believe the falsehood that your success is all about you. Yes, you’re brilliant and hardworking, but greatness is in the agency of others, and timing (and other features of luck) is everything.

The flip side is less discussed but more important. When you’ve fucked up, when things are going poorly — a relationship ends, you have professional disappointment, or you’re in financial stress — forgive yourself. Mourn, then move on. And moving on means finding the people and activities that give you the strength and confidence to believe you have value, that you are the solution to your firm’s needs, and that you could make someone else’s life wonderful. I have known many really successful people. But there’s a distinction between success and happiness. The delta boils down to registering one truth and surviving the accompanying emotions: Much of your failure, and your success, is not your fault.

Life is so rich,

90 comments

  1. Jg says:

    “They haven’t disclosed the details, but it seems likely they were asked to do something they believed to be illegal or unethical.”
    Soooo…you have no idea but decide to make an accusation based on nothing? Seems to be a trend of yours. The “GRU” voted in the poll to return Trump to twitter? “I don’t have proof of Russian interference in the poll; however, it would be hard to disprove it,” Well, I don’t have proof that you are a GRU plant; however, it would be hard to disprove.
    As someone who’s estimated net worth is $35m, how would you define your hubris? If you are so concerned about so much going to the 1% why don’t you give most of it away? Maybe it’s not that you really care about any if this it’s just that your jealous Elon is sooo much smarter than you?

  2. Tan Tane says:

    * Newyork elections was remarkable for me. Why?

    — The voters ask for Safety in State.

    Red States (I am equal to 2 Parties) have death penalty. And homicide rates are under Newyork.

    In any case, the fist mission of a State, is to establish safety. Otherwise the meaning of State loose its existencial reason.
    Firstly, when some one lose his control and he is still under a huge travma, there is no way than death penalty. So it is imposible to take all these people under firm observation.

    If a wolf that ravage innocents, has rights to survive;
    Don’t The innocent people have rights to live ?

    a) Only 1 judge isn’t enough to decide on terrifying criminals. Perhaps he/she can feel under pressure.
    3 judges who are experienced for certain years, should decide together for death penalty cases.
    In my country this metod is running and is usefull.
    They can decide in ease without any suspicion.
    Because the probleme is about if the verdict is wrong.
    In the current juridiction system, it is possible to make mistake for death penalty :
    1 judge + civil members of jury.

    b) The jury system should be cancelled for homicide cases. It is obvious that a civil citizen can’t stand with punishing dangerous criminals.
    Recentely, in Florida, the jury didn’t manage to sentence the mass shooter, to death penalty.

  3. Jeff Zafiropoulos says:

    Hubris and Nemesis, the rise and downfall of human ambition.
    This is why the ecstasy of success is worse than the agony of defeat, one is in the clouds, the other, on the ground, and yes the planets sometimes do have to align for or against.

  4. Valentine says:

    Mind-blowing

  5. LR says:

    Unpopular opinion: middle class discretionary consumption is WAY up from decades ago, savings way down, and non educational debt way up. Maybe a lot of people just need to get back to living within their means and sensibly investing for retirement instead of conspicuous consumption on credit, and crazy investment schemes. The consumer spending numbers over the last 3 years, let alone the last 20+, don’t lie. Want to stop enriching wealthy capitalists? Stop buying their $%^&.

    • Brian says:

      While there is some truth to what you are saying, the costs of what of consumers spend on have risen drastically ahead of inflation over that time frame. Single family homes, college tuition, and healthcare are completely unaffordable compared to the beginning of the timeframe you’re citing. So perhaps you are succumbing to the hubris that this article is based upon.

  6. Suresh Sreeram says:

    Professor nailed it. The last two paragraphs are just absolute truth.

  7. brian germain says:

    Every episode is brilliant, obviously, but this one, this one EVERYONE needs to read

  8. Jack says:

    My (our) hula hoop is about 80 feet in diameter. I (we) control what and who is inside that area and what happens there. To the rest of the universe, I (we) are amused spectators.

  9. Mitch says:

    The turn on Musk is hilarious. Once he championed actual Free Speech, his once former progressive brethren turned on him and fast. He is the same guy. Same strengths and weaknesses, so what changed? The Free Speech thing. Some just can’t stand the concept. I feel sorry for them.

    • Brian says:

      Oh boy. Where do we begin? Free speech is something that a lot of people struggle with. But not for the reasons you are suggesting. Free speech means that you cannot be persecuted by the government for what you say. Free speech does not, and has never, meant that you can say outlandish things or widely disseminate disinformation and not have consequences. You have the freedom to spew hateful rhetoric. Individuals and private organizations have the freedom to not associate with you as a result, because they can choose to not be affiliated with toxicity. It’s pretty simple actually.

      • Jeff Zafiropoulos says:

        Good point Brian, it’s all about the vociferous herd of original thinkers and “their rights,” but rarely do they mention their obligations, because obligations usually entail responsibility and critical thinking before acting. Even if you disagree with John Boehner, the maxim:
        “Just because you have the right to do something,
        doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do,” has a universal appeal.
        Cheers from Sydney
        Australia

      • Jg says:

        So what is disinformation? The prof posted this on twitter “I don’t have proof of Russian interference in the poll; however, it would be hard to disprove it,”. So no proof, assumes guilt until proven innocent. Is that not disnfo? Should twitter and others choose not to associate with him. Or is one persons truth another’s disinfo? What happens when what is called disinfo today is found to be the truth tomorrow?

  10. Justin says:

    Another cracker, Prof G. You’re a good guy. I really appreciate your voice in the madness. You should start a Radical Middle political movement in which common sense and humanity are the banner.

  11. Dave says:

    It’s going to be interesting to watch how Elon navigates this whole Twitter thing. I can’t help but go back to Simon Sinek’s “WHY” and how leaders are successful. Unfortunately, why Elon decided to take Twitter over is probably deeply flawed, and as much of a magician as he is, this trick may be his undoing. As far a social media goes, I hope that all of these platforms are held accountable, at some point, for the role they’ve played in the erosion of civil society, our collective mental health, and the amplification of stupidity.

  12. Ray says:

    This is one of PGs best.

  13. JEB says:

    Thought provoking commentary as always. What I don’t understand are the comments by people here who mistake the ability to expose social injustice for “leftism” and to criticize the egomania of the powerful as the author’s own “hubris”!

  14. John Bentley says:

    I forgot to add good article at a good time – thanks. Plus a quote by Francis Bacon “There is in human nature generally more of the fool than of the wise”.

  15. John Bentley says:

    Musk has followed a classic path for the rich and succesful. They all want a public voice in the shape of a TV channel or newspaper. Musk has gone for the big one in his supreme belief in himself which is both the reason for his success as it may well be for his downfall. Old boxing maxim: “the bigger they are the harder the fall”.

  16. Hannes says:

    Very good. Very true. Let THIS sink in.

  17. Zorbatheo says:

    “much of your failure, and your success, is not your fault” Thank-you for this Prof. Very wise words and much needed for me right now.

  18. Wandering Mind says:

    This article was like a California roll for me; a bunch of ideas rolled into a palatable product you kind of know, but one that nevertheless leaves you wondering what you’ve just consumed. But yeah hubris…got it.

  19. Geri says:

    The only reason I am reading your posts over the years is to try to “balance” my sources of information, including ones I usually disagree with. This post is no exception, and only displays your own hubris and intolerance towards everyone not aligned with your leftist political view of the world. The only explanation I can find is entrenched jealousy as you yourself have accomplished nothing and did not “build” any sort of value into the world.

    • Laura says:

      Wow. Dude, you need a yoga class or something.

    • Lucy says:

      I find you comments defensive An opinion relying on disagreement and negative innuendo yet lacking any substance or facts. Sounds a lot like sour grapes

    • Justin says:

      Geri, you might do a little research into what Prof Galloway has accomplished before levelling such a specific personal attack. Also, look up leftist.

  20. Barney says:

    In a world of deafening noise, this newsletter is a much needed signal.

  21. Dan Kaplan says:

    “Absolute power and wealth concentration are incompatible with the innovation that characterizes humanity’s upward movement.” Brilliant. Thank you for this excellent letter. Bravo.

  22. Colin Toal says:

    Net Worth and Credibility have an R = 0

    The sooner we learn that being rich doesn’t instantly make you credible, and being poor doesn’t instantly make you uncredible, the better off we will be.

    Witness what has happened to Sam Bankman-Fried. He went from key pillar and evangelist of the crypto community when everyone thought he was rich, to that same community speculating that he has committed terrible crimes once he no longer rich.

  23. Tom says:

    The Hubris syndrom come inevitably after 7 years at one position, how is that some CEOs are able to overcome it? Thanks for the brain refreshment.

  24. Bruno says:

    Great article, we live in a time of political/societal hubris too in a way, with ideas being more important than the actual people that are being affected.

  25. andrew uerling says:

    This should be require adding for all 18 year olds

  26. Mmatu says:

    Excellent…

  27. Brian says:

    Hi Scott, at some point, it would be great if you could write, so eloquently as you do, about the growth in wealth concentration and the rise of liberalism with progressives being the prey of predatory capitalism, which is sometimes confused with republicans. I identify as a compassionate capitalist btw, haha. Thank you, Brian

  28. Nick says:

    Good Article, thanks Scott

  29. Randy says:

    🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻Always insightful, but so on point with this report

  30. George says:

    Totally agree with the thrust of your article…fly too close to the sun and you invariably perish. Yet we’ve seen Elon re-invent himself time and time again…from online software, payment gateways, space, energy, cars…you could argue he’s had the Midas touch…I wouldn’t write him off just yet.

  31. Arvind says:

    Deep, profound wisdom , yet simply explained ! Pls do keep sharing ..

  32. Darshan M says:

    Amazing article Scott! “Much of your failure, and your success, is not your fault.” This line should become everyone’s ‘mantra’ to a happy and fulfilling life…

  33. Deborah says:

    Well Scott, another real gem in a world of bling. Am reposting this one.

  34. Seniors for a Democratic Society says:

    One of your best pieces in a collection of gems…

  35. Tomas says:

    I’m commenting directly on the article instead of reposting on Twitter because I’m not really interested in using Twitter anymore. Who knows what’s going on in Elon Musk’s mind, but it seems like he doesn’t have enough people that can push back when he comes up with ideas such as buying Twitter. The app will become lousy very quickly. Yes, it’s hubris, the excessive confidence that comes from being told by everyone around him how smart he is.

  36. Lizzie says:

    Fantastic article. Thank you. Your many angles to this article are fascinating, accurate, (in my view) enlightening and thought provoking. Especially appreciated the Dunning-Kruger effect definition, which is new to me. Many users of social media could do well to be told about this principle. Sadly it would probably go over their heads, believing they are experts, and have all the knowledge that exists or that they need. Thanks again

  37. Gunther says:

    Brilliant, as usual.

  38. frank says:

    Is okay to like you and Elon Musk? Or are those days gone.

  39. Chuck says:

    Wow! Thanks for bringing forward the essence of a life well lived — for and with others. Brene Brown — gratitude brings joy, not vice-versa.

  40. Jim says:

    Masterpiece.

    This:
    What is the lesson, what can be learned? Every day, no matter how successful we become, we need to earn our success. We need to be kind and appreciative; we need to surround ourselves with people who will push back on us and question our beliefs and actions. We need to demonstrate humility. You are never more susceptible to a huge mistake than right after a big win, when you begin to believe the falsehood that your success is all about you. Yes, you’re brilliant and hardworking, but greatness is in the agency of others, and timing (and other features of luck) is everything.

    I’ve wondered why I’ve been so intrigued by the business news recently.

  41. Marc Prensky says:

    I generally like reading you, but this, IMO, was one of your least insightful comments. It might have been more so had you discussed your own hubris.

  42. John says:

    Hope this relates to current situation in China too.

  43. Steven says:

    I’ve named the disease of hubris MSDS, (my shit don’t stink). A former President has a severe, possibly fatal case. P.S. If you believe success = money, you’ve already failed.

  44. David Haber says:

    I am ambivalent about schadenfreude. It is a character flaw. But the feelings I have about the current situation with Zuckerberg, Musk, Trump, Oz, ad nauseum, is enjoyable and I must indulge.

  45. Peter says:

    Hasn’t this always been so – it just seems now that the corporate life cycle is speeding up – or is this just result of me getting older.

  46. Phillip Soltan says:

    This article is what I love about Scott. He’s a “big picture” guy and reminds us we need a bigger perspective from time to time.

  47. Jason says:

    Social media is a cancer on society. It’s where the wealthy and unscrupulous go to manipulate the gullible. It gives a megaphone to people who don’t deserve a megaphone. It spreads ideas that aren’t worth spreading. It amplifies tribal instincts and brings out the worst in people.

    All social media shows you is ads, inflammatory memes, misinformation, and disinformation. Your interactions with actual people end up being shallow. People you know in real life won’t leave more than a thumbs up on your posts unless they want to argue. It’s an awful way to stay in touch.

    If you have an account on any social media network, delete it. There are much better ways to spend your time. If you want to stay in touch with friends and family, take some effort to actually stay in touch. Call them. Text them. Meet up with them in person. Put more effort into your relationships than a thumbs up or emoji on a social media post.

  48. Nick H says:

    Much to agree with in this week’s article. But I’d have to differ on this point: “The best companies build moats so they can protect their earnings and extend their lifespan. The next best firms recognize they are maturing and age gracefully…”.

    The best companies, I’d argue, recognize that they need to keep investing and innovating over time to (at least) delay the aging process. They realize that sometimes the short-term need to cannibalize one’s own revenue is necessary to preempt it’s being done by someone else.

    The next best ones realize that they can do this for only so long, and go willingly into that maturation process that allows capital to be reallocated to more productive purposes.

    Those that build moats by coopting government agencies, buying up competitors to create de facto monopolies, etc. only make the entire economy less efficient and (by doing do) harm their communities and countries until they inevitably collapse.

  49. Doug Flockhart says:

    Thanks Scott – another “fantastic” sharing!

  50. Steve says:

    Not to take away from a brilliant observation: your graph shows the rich getting richer, but no data supports the poor are getting poorer. The poor in America have generally gotten richer as well, and most have access to the stuff that only rich people could afford a couple decades ago. There are of course outliers in a rising homeless population, but reasons for homelessness are complicated and can’t be blamed on the rich. And there are the poor that have become some of the richest people in the world.
    To your point, there is a revolving door for those at the top of the income graph, the 1% changes frequently. You can be humble and realize luck got you there and it is yours to lose, or you can screw up and find out how quickly that revolving door works.

  51. Fernando says:

    Great piece, as always, but this sentence couldn’t be more wrong: It’s also the reason we (should) have progressive taxes and regulation
    Why delegate to an anonymous being, inefficient by nature, the division of money?
    The great wealth accumulation in these last decades has happened due to governments that printed money and gave it to the king’s friends.
    Gold hard currency or Bitcoin is the solution.

    • harvey charles zeller says:

      Certainly corruption is part of human nature, that is, human frailty; and Scott has identified it well. You have learned nothing: as well, your solution reveals that, by equating Bitcoin with hard currency, you are an idiot.

  52. Oana says:

    Memorable. Thanks you

  53. Sealharris says:

    You are “right on” with this post. It is one that I will save. However, I wish you had discussed the case of the thousands, perhaps millions, who actually do the work for such companies on the ascendency and then fail. They get nothing when things are going up and even less when they plummet.

    • Mdpetill says:

      Spot on Scott! It is oddly satisfying to see the three egomaniacs you highlighted fall to earth. Hubris indeed is the common denominator.

  54. Phillip says:

    I adore this man

  55. Shaun Johnston says:

    Needed, standards so every museum and store and office can design a meta replica of itself where transactions can be consumated, and you could pass in the same software environment from one to another.

  56. Will says:

    Nice Scott but you left out a key point. A bunch of them are psychopaths. There is no grace, no honesty, no remorse, no empathy, for them it is just greed and their narcissistic need to dominate.

  57. Dale Hitchcox says:

    A thousand thumbs up, Prof G!

  58. Paul says:

    Right on Scott. Your comments are timely and well said.👍

  59. George says:

    The first graph looked amazing! Up and to the right, untill I saw that its the 1% share of wealth.

  60. Ozzie Clausell says:

    Brilliantly said. Wisdom is not a product of your bank account.

  61. Greg Adamsick says:

    Interesting read up until the point where you included Elon. Twitter has lost money every year since it started in 2012, maybe it was time for a shack up! Give the guy a chance and judge him on what he does not on what you think he will do.

    • twitterstock says:

      Whatever we think of Elon’s leadership thus far, Twitter has not “lost money every year since it started.” It was profitable for years.

  62. Sean says:

    The last two paragraphs are pure gold. Thank you Scott.

  63. Khyati Soparkar says:

    This was a thoughtful, well-written post supported by your usual analysis and observations. Seeing the big picture and long-term view while reminding us to be the best humans we can made this an excellent read. Thanks!

  64. Gautam says:

    I can’t tell you how much that last paragraph just meant to me. Thanks.

  65. Hans Stork says:

    Elon sunk himself when he “jokingly” agreed to buy Twitter . . . on the Twitter platform. A clear offer was made publicly. His ego wouldn’t let him back out by saying, “just kidding.” Nope, he hid behind a bot problem until Twitter tied him down and stole his wallet.

    • Jim says:

      And the Delaware judge made him swallow that bird whole. No shucking and jiving to get out of it.

    • Beatrice says:

      Just a guess here – Twitter will go the way of Bell Telephone (aka “Ma Bell”). That is, it will break up into smaller, more manageable pieces, with each piece later on becoming more valuable and useful by itself than when they were together.

  66. Nick says:

    We need to surround ourselves with people who will push back on us and question our beliefs and actions. I think you can do better. Old Galloway was trustworthy and factual. New Galloway picks a talking point with substance but then dilutes all the trust by adding barnacles to that talking point that are at best petty and at worse incorrect.

    Old Galloway wouldn’t have forced this in “a new policy that “comedy” is allowed (unless you’re making fun of Elon)”. Yes Musk banned people that made fun of him but they all changed their username and profile picture. This is out of the Fox News playbook of cherry picking to fit your narrative. JCal being an asshole about you is one thing, but if he changed his username to Scott Galloway and changed his picture to yours first and then acted like you were saying something is significantly worse.

    My point, you have many strong anti-Musk takeaways but you have a ton of petty/silly/wrong ones that hurt your credibility.

    I appreciate you and think you have done a lot of good for people like me. I only take the time to comment because I’ve been saddened seeing your value errode.

    • Nick H says:

      I don’t think it was out of bounds to highlight the absurdity of first establishing a mechanism for anyone, for a nominal $8, to pretend to be someone else, and then expressing shock that they would do so at one’s own expense. It’s true (I think) that Musk subsequently said that all such impersonators would be found and removed, but he certainly went after the ones who offended him the fastest. It’s actually a great example of hubris at a much more tactical level.

  67. Barbara Farrell says:

    Love your inisghts

  68. Dave Conant says:

    I’d argue that the best managed companies pay down debt, pay dividends to shareholders and reserve a portion of their free cash flow to support the continuance of the innovation that got them there in the first place. There aren’t very many of those, and, sooner or later, most of them become moat builders, stop growing and renewing and end up dying a sometimes spectacular death. I’m waiting to see how Apple turns out because they were once an example of a great company.

    • Will says:

      Reminds me of the ‘Great Corporate Strategist’ Michael Porter. For more than a decade or more it was reengineer, lean processes, ‘continuous improvement’ until everyone saw the results were mutual unprofitably among competitors as. They drove each other to thinner and thinner margins. So of course he had to start preaching innovation, creative destruction and a whole new “pair_a_digh_‘em”.

  69. Olufemi says:

    I really enjoyed reading this particular post . Thanks for all that you do

  70. Nicole says:

    Very interesting post; I especially liked the idea of hubris and how it is healthy for society for the overly powerful to fail. I see shows about passionate small farmers and producers and feel like billionaires destroy our ability to enjoy these small businesses that add so much to world culture, by taking over everything and making it impossible for them to compete.

  71. Mark Katz says:

    Thanks for today’s “Hubris”. So spot on. Thanks for summarizing and for the words of wisdom. I hope everyone is listening.

  72. Doug Kinsey says:

    Scott, you’ve nailed it, once again. An excellent synopsis of the week’s events. As a wealth manager, your insights are a welcome confirmation of my own beliefs and are helping me keep myself and my clients on the right side of things.

  73. Robert says:

    Rarely does someone reach the level of Ultra wealth and ever fall so hard they become middle class or lower . And for that matter change their wealth lifestyles.

  74. Phil Carrick says:

    And so castles made of sand Slips into the sea, eventually