When it comes down to useful skills someone can have, there are two that stand out:
1) The capacity to observe and understand the world around us and 2) The capacity to imagine and create new things. Being really good at one of those or fairly good at both at the same time, can provide a huge upside potential in any professional career.
For those that can observe, analyze, and quantify the world, can make a good living in the asset allocation industry, a great example is Warren Buffet. He knows well how to assess risks and allocate capital where is more likely to compound on his behave. People like Warren Buffet need other people that can imagine and create new things like products and companies.
Elon Musk is one of the bests examples of people that can create. He has a track record of transforming his ambitious vision into a reality. Even so, he is not wired to do capital allocation, it’s too boring for him, he enjoys the thrill that goes into making.
Creating new things often takes a lot of energy, for many years. Most successful entrepreneurs with interest in capital allocation, start investing. They turn their focus and ability towards trusting their resources to other makers. Richard Branson is a good example of it. He continued growing Virgin Atlantic through allocating capital in different verticals.
Acquiring a certain level of mastery in any of those skills takes time and dedication. Any attempt to shortcut the effort that’s required might turn into a bad outcome. Elisabeth Holmes tried with Theranos and now she is awaiting trial for several counts of fraud. Despite having an ambitious vision, she couldn’t execute. Under high pressure, she wanted to shortcut the learning process of a complex industry. She didn’t know how to build or allocate the $1.4B granted to her company and failed to be honest about it.
Imagining and making a better world might be the best thing we can do now, let’s not cut corners.