Happy Fourth of July!
America is a truly a great nation and a land of opportunity despite its many faults! Sometimes I forget this. Warren Buffett likes to say that in spite of his success ($89 billion net worth), he has no reason to act puffed up because he won the "ovarian lottery".
First, he was born at a time and place (America) where a mind like his commands extraordinary financial rewards! As he is slow and unathletic, had he been born at a different time, he would have been a bear's lunch--he likes to joke!
And in his formative schooling years, he benefited from the instruction of talented female teachers, who had few other job options.
I was reminded of Buffett's remarks late last year when we hired someone on Fiverr to do data entry. Sadik (not his real name) lives in a remote part of Pakistan and graduated from college near the top of his class. He can't find a job and so he does tasks on Fiverr.
We thought we were hiring unskilled labor but Sadik quickly figured out the html structure of the forms he was filling and wrote a script to automate the work. He also came up with ideas to improve our workflow using Trello.
From our few interactions I realized he was smarter than I was. If things were different I'd be working for him! And yet he was extremely deferential, embarrassing me by calling me "sir".
While I can walk about safely in Redmond, WA at 2am, he can get killed for refusing to cooperate with the Taliban.
"Sadik, you are capable of more than data entry and so we’ll try to find work that uses your intellect" I told him. There was brief pause on the line and then he said, deferentially as always, "Thank you. I need the money so please consider me for both kinds of work sir"