“We all assume that being bigger and stronger and richer is in our best interest. It is not” ‘David and Goliath’…’the inverted ‘U’ curve and optimization’…Malcom Gadwell


“The Lord does not see as mortals see, they look upon outward appearance while the Lord looks upon the heart!” Samuel 1:16,7

“The school assumes that all the things that money can be often turn into ‘real world advantages’…they don’t!” That’s the lesson of the inverted ‘U’ curve. It is good that you are bigger than your opponent but not so big or weighted that you are a sitting duck for a rock hurled at 150 mph!” Hotchkiss is not the school it can because its classes are TOO SMALL. Goliath did not get what he wanted because he was TOO BIG. The Hollywood tycoon did not get to be the parent he wanted to be because he was TOO RICH! We all assume that being bigger and stronger and richer is always in our best interest…IT IS NOT!”

The Impressionists beat the ‘system’ by creating their own show in their own salon thus defeating the standards set by Parisian art critics and authorities. The Impressionists had to decide to adhere to the confining standards set by existing mores or ‘break out’ on their own. They chose to ‘break out’ , thus defeating the ‘Goliaths’. Did they want to be a little fish in the ‘big pond’ of the ‘Salon’ or did they want to be a big fish in their own pond. “The same dilemma comes up too often in our own lives and often we do not choose so wisely. The inverted curve reminds us that there is a point at which money and resources STOP making our lives better and start making them WORSE!”

I studied the ‘science’ of Economics for six years and learned much about inverted ‘U’ curves but not one Economics prof ever related it to the disadvantages of too much size, strength or wealth. Malcom lays it all down perfectly. Just as there are ‘diminishing returns’ to adding too much labor to land and capital, the ‘law’ works the same way when it comes to the aforementioned traits that we all assume are sacrosanct. If you don’t believe me, take a gander at this tome, it’s a beaut!