Sometime a long time ago, someone had asked me (from the start-up venture context) if I was a chicken or a pig. At the time I was surprised by the question but I never forgot the impression it made on me when I finally got what they were asking.
The story goes something like this: A chicken and a pig are asked to dinner and are asked to bring something to put on the table for everyone to consume. Who is more committed to the dinner, the chicken or the pig? The pig!
As it turns out, the chicken can hatch some eggs while the pig has to cut off a piece of himself (a bit morbid, I guess). But it leaves an impression and the Aha! moment is not easily forgotten. Plus, it shifts your thinking.
I was reminded of this story by a post someone passed along to me the other day: http://bostonvcblog.typepad.com/vc/2011/09/why-venture-capitalists-invest-in-pigs-not-chickens.html written by Jeffrey Bussgang at Flybridge Capital Partners on September 12, 2011.
I like that he put forth some questions to help people self-identify whether they are chickens or pigs. As it turns out, almost everyone is a chicken or a pig in various activities, events, companies, and other things they are involved with.
So when people are gathered around the table in a discussion, and if the discussion will affect people, keep a mental check on the chickens and pigs – and make sure you listen really well to the squealing – that is the source of your bacon!
- Why Venture Capitalists Invest In Pigs, Not Chickens (onstartups.com)