Game Changing Asymmetry


Source: ORACLE® Team USA

If things actually worked they way we are taught in school, all you need to do it get a “college degree” and you’ll be successful.

The reality is, learning the essentials like reading, writing, and arithmetic are basic requirements like eating, sleeping, and you know what.

To be great at something, we have to do a lot more than the basics.

You may consider that many of the greatest game-changers in America didn’t need anyone to tell them what to do next. They instead charted their own course and it was one that didn’t exist before.

Our society wants us to fit into the middle of the bell curve like the average person, but for some of us it’s a lot more fun to be an outlier,

Congratulations! To Larry Ellison and his ORACLE® Team USA for completing an improbable comeback to win Race 19 to successfully defend the 34th America’s Cup on Wednesday in San Francisco.

It’s a fine example of a game-changing asymmetry.

Before the huge win, Larry Ellison, who is co-founder and CEO of ORACLE®, was criticized for skipping a keynote address at a company conference to instead watch the comeback of his regatta team. It was a once in a lifetime moment only a few will ever experience by a man who has earned his freedom.

It’s a fine example of knowing when to get off the treadmill…

And, if you know the story, this unlikely outcome came from an unlikely team to start with. The combination of a billionaire CEO and a car radiator mechanic. The story is in The Billionaire and the Mechanic by Julian Guthrie. (I’ve been listening to the Audible version). It’s about how an unlikely duo won the sport’s oldest trophy – before this one. From Amazon:

“The America’s Cup, first awarded in 1851, is the oldest trophy in international sports, and one of the most hotly contested. In 2000, Larry Ellison, co-founder and billionaire CEO of Oracle Corporation, decided to run for the coveted prize and found an unlikely partner in Norbert Bajurin, a car radiator mechanic who had recently been named Commodore of the blue collar Golden Gate Yacht Club.

Julian Guthrie’s The Billionaire and the Mechanic tells the incredible story of the partnership between Larry and Norbert, their unsuccessful runs for the Cup in 2003 and 2007, and their victory in 2010. With unparalleled access to Ellison and his team, Guthrie takes readers inside the design and building process of these astonishing boats, and the management of the passionate athletes who race them. She traces the bitter rivalries between Oracle and their competitors, including Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli’s Team Alinghi, and throws readers into exhilarating races from Australia and New Zealand to Valencia, Spain.

With new television coverage and huge media, the America’s Cup is poised to be bigger than ever, and The Billionaire and the Mechanic is a must-read for anyone interested in the race or this remarkable story.”

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