For those of you who are new to this blog, I posted a story challenge a couple of days ago where my request to the readers was to find the flaw in the story. So if you have not read the story yet, please do so here before you read the solution.
I want to thank all of you who responded to the challenge. There were two folks who got it right the first time:
a) John Brothers, Atlanta, GA
b) Jekke Bladt, New York, NY
The rest of the folks had very interesting perspectives and I must say that I enjoyed reading all the responses.
Here is my solution to the challenge:
This is a fine example of masterful story telling. The story teller paints a great picture with two scenarios:
1. Scenario A: fisherman continues to do what he is doing
2. Scenario B: fisherman follows the path shown by the Harvard MBA
What the story teller does very well is to paint a picture in a such a manner that scenario A and scenario B are just the same making readers get a feeling that if both the scenarios were same, why should the fisherman follow the advice of Harvard MBA?
This is exactly the flaw in the story – scenario A and scenario B are very different. In scenario B, the fisherman would be rich and financially independent and fishing would be one of the many options that are available to him. If he wished, he could take a world tour for the next three years for his family or engage in charitable work for the rest of his life or become an investor or continue to fish or just do nothing.
In scenario A, however, the fisherman will continue to do what he was doing but with a twist. If some misfortune strikes – like a serious illness, weather problems, hurricane or something else, he is in serious trouble. In other words, he is only a few days away from serious trouble all the time.
In summary, where the fisherman will go if he follows the Harvard MBA’s advice is very different destination than what is painted in the story.