Air Force flight instructor Commander John Boyd could beat anybody in an aerial battle using a simple strategy: make the first move, lightning fast.

Often that first move was an erroneous one. Nevermind. Speedy Boyd would change directions and reposition into a better position – before his opponent moved at all.

Startup investor Mark Maples explains it like this:

“Let’s say I make a wrong move, but you haven’t moved yet. Then I make the right move, before you moved…I was able to make a move then course correct before you’ve made a move.”

A couple thoughts:

  1. This is the best analogy I’ve heard explaining the lean startup methodology.
  2. It’s interesting how this relates to Maples’s success in investing: 93% of his firm’s exit profits have come from businesses who’ve pivoted away from their initial idea.

“If you’re a speed-based competitor, you can be wrong, but still be right quicker. Which makes you right….sometimes you can win purely by being faster.”

Listen to the full convo: Mark Maples in conversation with Tim Ferriss (min 48:45)

 


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