About “Geniuses”

In the past month two people have spoken to me about someone being a "genius".  They referred to the (different people ) as being simply better than other people.  They spoke about them almost with a sense of awe.

With all the interviews I do on meetinnovators.com, I am exposed to smart "genius-like" people very frequently (we do one interview per week).  So I've started to get some strong feelings about "geniuses".

"Geniuses" are normal people just like you and me.  They just happened to have hit the things in my post about internet entrepreneurship.  That is, using their natural abilities in their market, filling a market need, passion for the market and focus.  And there's one more thing they have: good strategy.

But, its a tricky balance.  Once that good strategy goes away so does their success.  Strategy is critical. 

An example:  Microsoft's strategy isn't working as well today as it used to.  The stock is far below its levels of 2000.  Fake Steve Jobs has a great summary of why Microsoft is going downhill

But does this mean Bill Gates is or is not now a genius?  No, its just that his strategy isn't on track like it used to be.  Locking users into various platforms worked great in the 80's and 90's, and today it doesn't.  Google doesn't lock users in, ever, and people love it.

It takes a magical balance to get things to work properly.  Once you have it, you have to ride it as much as possible.  But it doesn't last forever.  And even if you get it, you still won't be a genius in my book.  You'll be a smart guy who got it right.