“Jimmy’s son figured out that the dairies wanted their pens cleaned and the farmers wanted compost. He offered the dairies to clean the pens for free and sold the manure as fertilizer to the farmers. Now, he’s making a killing. He has a free resource and he’s turning it into dollars.”

My parents visited this weekend and my dad told me this story about a friend’s son.

I told my dad, “That’s sort of a classic story of entrepreneurship. But I would bet that, on some time horizon, the dairies are going to run out of expansion opportunities where there are no good locations to build up or down the road. They’re going to look for other ways to grow and end up telling Jimmy’s son, ‘Thanks for figuring out that for us, we’ll take this from here.'”

“It’s already happening,” my dad said, “they told him he can only sell to farmers that supply them with corn.”

There are opportunities that are high performance and opportunities that are high resilience. Often, they are mutually exclusive. You sacrifice some profit to maintain better survivability. Or you take risks with resilience to mine as much as you can out of an opportunity.

I don’t believe that one is inherently better than the other. But they both have consequences and it’s important to understand what those consequences are before the rug is pulled out from underneath you.

Featured image is hieroglyphic painting showing cattle being milked in ancient Egypt.