Dumb Ideas Die Pretty Quicklyby Thomas Russo
At the peak of the Internet bubble I went to an investor presentation by [check manufacturer] Deluxe Corp., in which they described how the Internet was going to flatter, not tarnish the check business. Then the CEO launched into a big discussion about how he was going to convert his core franchise to a new plat form he called Internet gift sales, and that they were going to lose $50 million a year on it. I went away and didn’t buy the stock, disgusted with that idea. What I learned from this, however, was that really dumb ideas like this one actually have a habit of meeting an early death. In fact, it turned out to be such a dumb idea that it died quite quickly, leaving the business to flourish under its core dynamics, unburdened by ill-considered strategic moves. That was a big lesson.