Where’s The
Calculated Risk?

By: Keith Park

An interesting situation has cropped up in the auto industry. On one side, you have GM embroiled in the midst of an embarrassing botched recall and on the other side is one of the most exciting and unlikely startups the country has ever seen. In the GM situation, a case can be made that the company did not believe a recall made business sense whereas with Tesla, even the founder freely admits that success was unlikely. When pushed by the interviewer why he started Tesla even though he thought it was going to fail, Musk says “if something is important enough, you should try even if the probable outcome is failure.”

Ecclesiastes 11 encourages us to invest, to diversify and to not be idle. We are called to action but at the same time we “do not know the path of the wind” or “understand the work of God.” To deal with this uncertainty, we’ve created a framework that seeks to minimize risk and maximize profits. However, the encouragement from both these articles is to be guided by a principle that moves beyond a cost/benefit analysis, to understand what is most important to us and try, even if the outcome is failure.