The three Is

The three Is

Charlie Rose asks Warren Buffet in a 2008 interview, “Should wise people have known better?” regarding what we can learn from the economic mess. Bill Taylor summarizes:

See also:
All shareholder letters from Warren Buffet; Farnam Street recommends them over an MBA program

Of course they should have, Buffet replied, but there’s a “natural progression” to how good new ideas go badly wrong. He called this progression the “three Is.” First come the innovators, who see opportunities that others don’t and champion new ideas that create genuine value. Then come the imitators, who copy what the innovators have done. Sometimes they improve on the original idea, often they tarnish it. Last come the idiots, whose avarice undermines the very innovations they are trying to exploit. (20:45)

In other words, “The problem … isn’t with innovation itself — it’s with the imitation and idiocy that follow.”