The ball’s second bounce

frédéric vendeuvre Published by Frédéric Vendeuvre – 15 February 2024

Times of crisis and uncertainty such as these are good times to dip into some good reading from the past. Let me share with you a few ideas gleaned from Ronald Cohen’s book, “The Second Bounce of the Bullet”, published in 2008, written by this leading financial investor at Apax.

Here’s a key idea: any attentive market spectator knows where the ball is bouncing today. Everyone knows it will bounce somewhere else. But few anticipate where, and fewer still position themselves to catch it and take advantage of it. The entrepreneur is one of these, as is the good business developer!

To illustrate the principle, the author cites the case of the obesity market, which, 15 years on, is still very much in the news today, with the incredible success of anti-obesity treatments.

Anyone looking for an opportunity in the pharmaceutical industry knows that current investment in research in this market is considerable. This is the ball’s first bounce. The right question to ask is: where will the second bounce come from? in anti-obesity treatments, for example. And the next bounce? It could be in post-obesity treatments, such as muscle recovery and associated cosmetic treatments. But is it really such a good idea? If so, how can we exploit it? How can we ensure that a product will stand up to the emerging competition? These are the real questions for an action plan.

Here are some other inspiring passages for our current period to share without moderation:

  • Today is the tomorrow you were worried about yesterday.
  • Business opportunities arise when a way of doing things is outdated and the market hasn’t yet realized it.
  • Good is the enemy of better. If you start by recruiting people who are just good, the best won’t come.
  • Take advantage of each departure to recruit someone better; this is what the author calls the “leapfrog” principle.
  • Investors bet on jockeys, not horses.
  • Luck is rarely pure chance.
  • The willingness to turn every setback to one’s advantage is the secret of “lucky” investors.

If you’re looking for inspiration for other positive reframings to motivate or remotivate your teams, take part in our Sales Management training courses:

Good business to all.

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