Calculated Risk or Dangerous Gamble?

Image soure: USAFE - AFAFRICA
Image source: USAFE – AFAFRICA

There are a number of famous school dropouts mainly from the tech industry. These high profile individuals are usually American men. Some examples include Mark Zuckerberg who dropped out Harvard to start Facebook, Bill Gates who also dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft, Steve Jobs who dropped out of Reed College to start Apple and Michael Dell who dropped out of University of Texas to start Dell. Dropping out of school or quitting a job to start a business could be a calculated risk or a dangerous gamble.

A calculated risk means there is a backup plan or a safety net in place if plans go awry while a dangerous gamble is like jumping out a plane without a parachute and hoping you land safely. These successful dropouts would have seemed liked dangerous gamblers when they made the decision to quit school. But they didn’t have as much to lose as you would have imagined. This is because if their business start-ups had failed, they could still have gone back to their respective schools to complete their degrees.

None of them at the time they dropped out of school to start their business was married or had kids. They were all bachelors and the lack of marital and parental responsibilities helped them to single-mindedly focus on their business start-ups. These risk takers had calculated the pros and cons of their decision to drop out and believed that the rewards outweighed the risks. It should also be noted that these men were quite bright as well. It takes a certain degree of intelligence to successfully run a business.

A number of people all over the world would emulate these men by dropping out of school or quitting their jobs. Most of them would not succeed because they fail to realise the difference between a calculated risk and a dangerous gamble.

What creative or entrepreneurial risks are you currently taking? Are they calculated risks or dangerous gambles?

One reply on “Calculated Risk or Dangerous Gamble?”

Interesting point which is similar to my opinion. We often hear examples of these calculated risk takers, but I don’t think there are stats available for those that took similar risks and didn’t make it!

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