Safety First

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Innovators, Imitators, and Idiots In Road View

Warren Buffet, the Oracle Of Omaha, and the #2 or #3 wealthiest man in the world, must have had the rumshop/grill entrepreneurs in Road View in mind when he came up with his brilliant gem on the natural progression to idiocy in the marketplace. I have lost count of the failures in the last few years on the site pictured above, but tomorrow (according to the chalkboard out front last week) yet another intrepid capitalist is opening yet another bar and grill here. Bizarrely, this time the merchant has chosen the prophetic name: "Temptation Bar & Grill."

A few years ago somebody got the brilliant idea of combining food and alcohol and the roadside bar and grill was born. They started popping up all over the island as if Barbados did not have enough rumshops already. Some were/are in substantial buildings but others were/are housed in such flimsy quarters with tarps and sticks that you have to wonder how they secured the liquor license in the first place. All of a sudden it became the surefire way to become a millionaire in Barbados outside of winning the lottery, or so some seem to believe. Everybody was/is jumping on the wagon, and predictably just as fast, the vast majority were/are falling off the wagon. But a little thing like the hoards falling off the wagon doesn't seem to be deterring others from taking the jump.

Here is where Warren Buffet's inspired counsel helps us to understand this lemming-like behavior. He called it "the progression of the "three I's." First come the innovators, who see opportunities that others don't. Then come the imitators, who copy what the innovators have done. And then come the idiots, whose avarice undoes the very innovations they are trying to use to get rich. The problem, in other words, isn't with innovation -- it's with the idiocy that follows." Too bad some of us are going to have to put up with the late-night noise for a while before the new "I..." falls off the wagon.

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