For the past two years I have to deal with academics, some of whom are actually quite world renowned. Many have reinforced this very prejudice of mine: inability to add one plus one.
Of course, I am just dramatizing with this metaphor. What I am trying to say is simply this: They don’t seem to be able to do simple things! They get too bogged down by the ghosts they see in everything.
I was trying to be polite when I allowed an academic to take a look at a concept that I was working on. Being trained by people from the University of Hard-knocks, my approach has always been this: Firm up your objectives and formulate a broad-based strategy to achieve them. Do things incrementally and tweak as one goes along.
This academic wanted me to satisfy him with DETAILS, DETAILS, and DETAILS. Obviously despite his credentials, he has not fully understood the Carl von Clausewitz who, in his classic On War, simply argues that the moment you step into the battlefield, things are unlikely to work out the way you have planned on paper. You need to be vigilant and act and react according to situations. No wonder it is often said that business school professors are not entrepreneurial materials!
I wrote him off without any reservation! (How arrogant I can be!)
The Star Cruises, one of the world’s leading cruise lines, was founded by the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong of the Genting fame. I played a small part in its inception. I was posted to Athens to pursue a casino licence and we were almost on the edge of clinching one when the incumbent government was voted out of the office. He decided to pull out of the race. An offer came through: two one-year old luxury ships for only half of the actual cost. He bought them without going through all the feasibility studies. The rest is history. Today the Star Cruises also controls the Norwegian Cruise Lines, if I am not mistaken.
Too much analysis will only lead to paralysis! How wise the saying is!