Why Do Clever People Make Stupid Decisions?

Why Do Clever People Make Stupid Decisions

Really smart people often do dumb things, make boneheaded moves, and sometimes seem lost where simple common sense would suffice.

People buy high and sell low. They believe their horoscope. They figure it can’t happen to them. They bet it all on black because black is due. They supersize their fries and order the diet Coke. They talk on a cellphone while driving. They throw good money after bad. They bet that a financial bubble will never burst.

Professor Keith Stanovich even coined a name for it: dysrationalia.

In all my years of experience, I’ve met a lot of talented people. I’ve hobnobbed with entrepreneurs and made acquaintance with their big dreams — they do have big ambitions to conquer the big world out there.

They are busy building their next ‘big thing’.

They dig themselves into their offices fussing over their big software that can change the way we work.

They are efficiently coding away to build the next Evernote, Dropbox, Skype, Podio, or Tradeshift.

Don’t get me wrong; they are indeed smart entrepreneurs and their product ideas are excellent.

But their insistence in building global, potentially popular products often makes them impervious to the dumb things they do. Here are some of those dumb things, and we only wish they got these right too, along with their products:

Doing it themselves, hiring wrong, or hiring locally

First, doing it yourself is stupid. If there’s ever a startup with a single founder, it’s bound to fail. Second, hiring is often not a technical founder’s forte. Either hiring is scattered or it’s done all wrong. Third, hiring local and insistence on keeping developers in-house is yet another one of those they get it all wrong.

It’s not about where developers are located. For a business, hiring decisions should be based on talent, output and cost. Getting developers straight out of university is wrought with the risk of hiring inexperienced developers with zero problem-solving skills.

If your ambitions are global and if you want to export your product for the whole world to eat out of your hands, your hiring decisions should be global. You don’t need everyone in the same office. You, however, need world-class talent working on the same project.

Who builds your skyscraper?

Think about all the big things that are built all the time: highway projects, airports, and skyscrapers. Would you ever let juniors take the lead for such important projects? For such massive endeavours, no one gets to take charge without a lifetime of experience and success behind them.

For successful skyscraper project implementation, you need a stable base for the building. You’d need good floor planning. You’d need to factor in numerous external factors, hire contractors, plan materials, build a timescale to finish the project in phases, and actually oversee execution.

So why is it any different for your software project? Why do you put the soul of your project into hands of a bunch of junior developers? For software projects — just like it was for major civil projects — you’d need the right technical architecture. When it comes to software development you need to be able to scale, worry about security, testing, deliver on time, deliver on budget, and a lot more.

Are you absolutely sure your team can handle it all? If you need new resources, would you go out hiring again?


Tap into global, inexpensive, and efficient talent

The smart thing to do is to get a team of experienced software developers that have tried building, launching, and scaling software products. You need developers who have those battle scars, been in the trenches for many years, and those who rely on their experience and technical prowess.

You need real achievers. You need experienced hands on deck. You have an absolute need for global, efficient, and resourceful teams.

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