Fortune Favors the Brave!



There was a time when the industry questioned the soundness of Sun's free and open source software model but everyone has now sat up and noticed that this model is viable and that it has helped Sun become profitable again. It must have taken some courage and conviction from Sun to give away its most popular software away for free and also make them open source. A recent article in BusinessWeek dwells on this topic - about how courage combined with sound decisions is reaping rich dividends.



The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth is another venture off the beaten track; another example of courage paying off. Whoever heard of a "novel in verse" - a novel about young professionals in California written in rhyming tetrameter sonnets? (I thought the book was delightful). And this novel, despite scepticism regarding the novel's viability, went on to gain both critical acclaim and commercial success (it sold over a million copies).



That brings to mind the Marshall Attack, a chess opening for bravehearts only, in which the player playing black sacrifices a pawn for a long-standing attack against white. This aggressive line was introduced Frank Marshall who played it in 1918 against Capablanca. Capablanca won this game and experts declared that the Marshall Attack was just another brash, unsound gamble. However, the Marshall Attack was later adopted and improved by top players and is now deemed a formidable weapon against a Ruy Lopez opening by white. See this game where Vladimir Kramnik succumbed to the Marshall Attack in the 2004 World Chess Championship. Incidentally, it was played in the last round game between Vishwanathan Anand and Peter Leko at the 2007 World Chess Championship.


"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill


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