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In a multiplicative system, you’re only as strong as the weakest link

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • June 18, 2017


1000 x 45 x 37 x 0 x 789 = 0

The presence of a zero in this equation renders the entire result as zero, regardless of the size of the other factors.

This applies to all multiplicative systems, here is an example of a football player:

1. Talent. You’re 6 foot, quick, skillful, strong, and have always been the best player in your region.

2. Support. You live in a family and community that reveres football.

3. Track record. You were the player of the year, every year.

4. Clear path forward. You’ve been selected for trials at Manchester United.

Sounds like you have a shot, right? As good as anyone could have, right? What would you put the odds at of you becoming one of the better players in the world? Pretty high?

Add one more piece of information:

5. You’ve developed a cocaine habit.

One bad link, and the whole chain falls apart.

This applies to business as well.

Monopoly product, annuity revenues, 90% profit margins, stable management team.

Paid a bribe to politician to secure a government contract.

One misstep and the entire business fails.

Pay attention to every step.

Businesses are multiplicative systems.

In a multiplicative system, you’re only as strong as the weakest link

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