Turnaround Plays

Social media is full of recommendations of turnaround plays. Most popular ones are:


The vast majority of turnarounds fail. There’s a reason the companies became broken and fixing them is super difficult. You need someone with zero fear. They also need a catalyst. Apple had the return of Steve Jobs, the iMac, then the iPod. Who else has that type of potential?

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As the saying goes, “Turnarounds rarely turn.”


Yeah. I tried it once. We assembled an amazing team for the HW side. The software team fell on its face. The whole thing failed because of it.

Granted, now I’m a finance person leading launch readiness calls over a holiday weekend. All because I asked some question to better understand the cost impacts. Everyone realized I had the most cross functional view of the service dependencies. That’s fun.

This whole modern philosophy that program management isn’t needed works fine when a company is small with 1 product. It doesn’t scale.

It’s also fun when the code is shared on screen, and I preface by saying I’m not a software engineer. However, I don’t think that code does what’s being described. Yeah, the code didn’t do what they were describing.

I’m realizing more and more that engineers are good at very specific things within small parameters. Any decent engineer can solve the basic problems and write their code. They aren’t great at thinking about scale, customer experience, and dependencies between services.

The real genius needed at companies are the product managers and ops people. The good ones are a force multiplier for the work everyone else is doing. They are what make an organization effective and efficient.


Amit’s turnaround plays. Six related to financial/ banks.


Sure this is not because of job nature and exposure? Given the right job, engineers can do likewise. For example, Mark Zuckerberg :slight_smile: and Satya Nadella :smiley: If not that they can’t, is because don’t need to… is not their job.

No. It’s completely different parts of the brain. Most cannot make that leap. That’s why those that do are so rare.

Professor chipped in.