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Posted by on Oct 5, 2009 in Leadership | 0 comments

The Waterslide and the Importance of Big Risk

Recently, I stumbled upon this video of a kid rocketing off an enormous waterslide and into a small pool. Probably not real, of course, but it brings up a valuable point: people care about big risk.

The greater the risk, the greater the reward. Conversely, the greater the risk, the greater the failure. Going down a typical waterslide is not worth watching on YouTube, but landing in a kiddy pool from a waterslide / ramp a hundred yards away is worth watching.

The video above is worth talking about because of the incredible risk involved. No one cares about no risk. Everyone can do no risk. It’s those that have the guts to sail through the air and into the kiddy pool a hundred yards away that people care about.

All great brands take significant risks. Think Nike or Apple. Risk-taking brands are the innovators constantly pushing against the status quo and reap the greatest rewards. Nike has taken some of the biggest risks in advertising and they are one of the most iconic brands out there.

Breaking the cast is threaded through all luminaries. Take Babe Ruth for example. He struck out more than he could hit out of the ballpark, but it was his ability to take the risk of always swinging heavy that made him a legend.

I wouldn’t be writing about this waterslide video, Apple, Nike or Babe Ruth if they didn’t take big risks. So next time you do launch a new product, service, campaign or give a presentation or anything else ask yourself, is this incredible?

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