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If someone presents A seat on a rocket, you don’t ask which seat. So it’s one of Silicon Valley’s favorite platitudes, with (at least) former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

If the idea gives you a shot at working on something new and big, just say yes and figure out where you fit in the organization later.

The chest can be used in other situations. For example, if I’m building a really cool company that’s poised to take off and become the next big thing, you might be more concerned about putting some of your capital into the business (a seat on a business rocket ship). How the business is conducted (asking which seat to buy).


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Making big bets on the future without knowing all the details can work well, as in Sandberg’s example. Also… it can’t be. Like many business clicks, the rocket seat philosophy is often applied. Far from being rational advice to be brave in uncertain situations, it can also be used to make illogical choices seem reasonable.



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