- 章节名：my road of trials: 1983-1994
- 页码：第55页 2019-02-08 18:30:57
Not everyone at Bridgewater saw things as Bob and I did. Some in the company doubted that systemization could work, especially when the systems didn't do well, which, like normal decision making, happened every now and then. It took a lot of reasoning to persuade some of the people I worked with to press on. But even if I couldn't convince them, they couldn't change my mind, because they couldn't show me why our approach of clearly specifying, testing, and systemizing our logic wasn't preferable to making decisions less systematically.
All great investors and investment approaches have bad patches; losing faith in them at such time is as common a mistake as getting too enamored of them when they do well. Because most people are more emotional than logical, they tend to overreact to short-term results; they give up and sell low when times are bad and buy too high when times are good. I find this is just as true for relationships as it is for investments- wise people stick with sound fundamentals through the ups and downs, while flighty people react emotionally to how things feel, jumping into things when they're hot and abandoning them when they're not.
Despite our relatively poor investment performance, 1988 was a great year for Bridgewater, because by reflecting on and learning from our poor performance, we made systematic improvements. I have come to realize that bad times coupled with good reflections provide some of the best lessons, and not just about business but also about relationships. One has many more supposed friends when one is up than when one is down, because most people like to be with winners and shun losers. True friends are the opposite.
I got a lot out of my bad times, not just because they gave me mistakes to learn from but also because they helped me find out who my real friends were- the friends who would be with me through thick and thin.
At that time, and for quite a while longer, I tended to hire people just out of school who didn't have much experience but were smart, determined, and committed to the mission of making the company great. I didn't value experience as much as character, creativity, and common sense, which I suppose was related to my having started Bridgewater two years out of school myself, and my belief that having an ability to figure things out is more important than having specific knowledge of how to do something. It seemed to me, young people were creating sensible innovation that was exciting. Older folks who did things in the old ways held no appeal. I should add, though, that putting responsibility in the hands of inexperienced people doesn't always work out so well. Some painful lessons that you'll read about later taught me that it can be a mistake to undervalue experience.
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