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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

From my desk in The Manhattan, Chiba Japan

Well I got here without too much trouble, and the efficiency of the Japanese transport system dropped me right at the front door, this is the first day of Semicon Japan,4600 exhibitors. One thing I did notice, that has changed from my last stay in Japan, over in Machida, when I was working for NEC Semiconductors, was the Japanese have become so more efficient at extracting money from you, they have taken a tip from the holiday resorts of the Med and Canaries. The other thing I became aware off the air, there is something about the air in Tokyo that you do not get anywhere else in the world, the smell, fresh with a slight metallic tang, not like Shenzen in where you can't breathe for it...but just a slight tang..yes that's not changed... so today's post from "The desk off Gordon Whyte", is an interesting snap shot of what makes a good entrepreneur.

When Do You Fill Your Gas Tank ? from Pure VC

Every once in a while, I must post about one of my silly theories about life and business. This is one of them.
I don't claim to know exactly what makes a good entrepreneur. Sometimes it is a clever idea. Sometimes it is being at the right place at the right time. Sometimes it is just good luck. What I can say is that most of the successful entrepreneurs I know have certain personality traits. One of the most prominent traits I see is the person who if given the choice to do something sooner versus later, will always choose to do it sooner rather than later.
Maybe I'm just anal retentive or OCD, but I'm the kind of person that is more at ease knowing that everything is done versus waiting to do it tomorrow. The problem with coming back tomorrow is that often you don't come back. Or when you actually do, you don't have the same energy and inspiration to. Or when you come back it is at the most inconvenient time but you are forced to.
So here's a silly question that I don't necessarily ask people, but I tend to go out of my way to observe:
When Do You Fill Your Gas Tank?
On your way home from work?

On your way to work?

When it is 3/4 empty?

When it is less than half empty and you conveniently are near a gas station?

You usually wait until the other driver fills it?

From my observations of close friends and colleagues over the years, I've come up with a silly theory that gas filling tendencies can describe two types of people.
The Doer - One type of person must fill their tank when they discover that it is low or has hit a certain benchmark. These people fill their tank when it is most convenient or if it must be filled, fill it on their way home. They do not usually wait until the next day to do it. They tend to be a bit more conservative and cautious about risk. They do not ever run out of gas. And they are never in a hurry to fill up at the last minute on their way to work.
The Waiter - The other type of person is one who fills the tank only when forced to - the point at which they realize that they must fill it otherwise they cannot get to their desired destination. That person is the kind of person that likes to see how far they can go once the warning light has illuminated. That person also has a tendency to wait for and hope that someone else will fill the tank for them if they share the car. Perhaps they are risk takers also. That kind of person likes to procrastinate and push things back to a later day.
In this silly theory of mine, I've noticed that The Doer is usually a better entrepreneur than The Waiter. I've got no quantitative evidence to prove any of this. But The Doers seem to be more on top of their game and organized than The Waiters. They tend to tackle problems head on and early rather than waiting and stalling to come back later.
Unfortunately, most of the members of my family are Waiters so I do end up spending a lot of time at the gas station.



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