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Overpromise and over-deliver

I first heard James Altucher talk about how we need to overpromise and over-deliver to continue to grow and be successful. 

Since then, I tend to see this at play everywhere. 

Startups are in the business of overpromising and over-delivering. Those that don't die out or fade out pretty quickly. Public companies do the same when it comes to quarterly earnings calls. E-commerce companies do the same about what they sell and how fast they can bring it to you. And people are no different. 

When you promise something and under deliver, you lose reputation and your promise counts for less the next time. So, people are wary of over-promising. In fact, they often tend to under-promise.

When you promise something and over deliver, you gain reputation, but at the same time the expectations on you for the next time around increases. So, people are wary of over-delivering because they weigh the short-term gains of increased reputation against the long-term consequences of increased expectations which makes such delivery common rather than an over-delivery. 

You need to go on the over-promise, over-deliver, have expectations raised, spiral on and on until you no can no longer keep it up. And then, you spend time learning how to get back on that spiral. 

It seems like a stressful life to do this. And it is. Many people choose not to go through it and are happy to keep the balance.

But thinking that you can have the balance and yet be incredibly successful is naive at best.

If being at the very top at something is what you're after, then this spiral is what you need to be on.

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