fast and decisive adjustmentsPosted: March 12, 2020
This struck home, read it in a Sequoia Capital memo someone Twittered.
Also in the category of: clear writing from people in the world of VC/tech financing, an anecdote retold by Morgan Housel
The Battle of Stalingrad was the largest battle in history. With it came equally superlative stories of how people dealt with risk.
One came in late 1942, when a German tank unit sat in reserve on grasslands outside the city. When tanks were desperately needed on the front lines, something happened that surprised everyone: Almost none of the them worked.
Out of 104 tanks in the unit, fewer than 20 were operable. Engineers quickly found the issue, which, if I didn’t read this in a reputable history book, would defy belief. Historian William Craig writes: “During the weeks of inactivity behind the front lines, field mice had nested inside the vehicles and eaten away insulation covering the electrical systems.”
The Germans had the most sophisticated equipment in the world. Yet there they were, defeated by mice.