Opportunity Analysis

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How are your analyzing opportunities?

Do you invest your time to properly analyze them? Do you have a mechanism for doing it? Is it working well or you should change it?

I am asking you all of these because most of us have lots of opportunities and we don’t know how to handle them. We probably lose many of them and we don’t even know that. Why does that happen? Probably we don’t see them as opportunities or we are too deeply involved in our business and we forget to think outside of the box.

Here is a story about Brian Acton, one of the WhatsApp co-founders.

A bad decision that cost $19 billion

I saw it on Instagram and I saved on my iPhone to show it to you and have this discussion.

The story is totally true, I personally check it.

in 2009, at age 37, Brian Acton was rejected by Facebook when he applied for a job in 2009. They considered him not the right employee for Facebook.

But do you know who Brian Acton was back then?

Here is a short CV of him, with information from Wikipedia:

  • 1992 – He worked as a system administrator for Rockwell International. After that he worked as a product tester at Apple Inc and Adobe Systems.
  • 1996 – Brian became the 44th employee of Yahoo Inc.
  • 2000 – Brian invested and lost millions of dollars in the dot-com bubble of 2000.
  • 2007 – He left Yahoo! and took a year off to travel in South America and play frisbee.
  • 2009 – Brian applied for a job at Facebook and he was rejected.
  • 2009 – Together with Jan Koum, Brian founded WhatsApp Inc. in California.
  • 2014 – Koum and Brian Acton made the sale of their lives. They sold WhatsApp to Facebook for approximately US$19 billion in cash and stock.

So Facebook’s bad decision of not hiring Brian, cost them 19 billion dollars.

What about me and you? 

For sure we all have similar stories, with less money involved, probably.

I wrote this article to remind both you and me, that we have to carefully analyze opportunities and pay huge attention for our decisions.

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