27 February 2014

“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out” – Warren Buffett

While the title of this blog will have struck concern into the PR department this morning, it’s not actually anything to do with skinny dipping, nor does it contain any risqué holiday photos! It’s actually a business lesson, and life lesson for that matter, from the incredible investor and businessman Warren Buffett.

His quote about swimming naked is a warning that bad things aren’t obvious when times are good. I often talk about not getting caught up in celebrating or letting your standards slip because things are going well, and I think this warning has a lot to do with it. Personally, I think there’s a lot more you can learn from this one sentence than at first meets the eye.

Firstly, it reminds us to be prepared for when the tide does go out because, as with most things in life, it can’t always be high; it also has to have lows. So, keep your eyes firmly fixed out to sea, looking for something on the horizon. If you think ahead, you will be better prepared for a change in circumstance or situation.

However, you could also argue that his statement is a good way to think about those around you. Ask yourself, whether in a business sense or in life, are you surrounding yourself with people who will stay the course and remain loyal even when things get tough? It’s your responsibility to treat people well enough that they will want to stick around, but it’s also important that you choose the best friends and colleagues to continue along the journey with you.

If you have weak links in your team, it might not be obvious when business is booming, but the tide can always change. This is why we decided to build our own data centres instead of continuing to rent space in someone else’s. Being in control means that we’re accountable for the satisfaction of our customers and don’t have to worry about a third party letting us – and them – down. There are no skinny dippers at UKFast. Well, at least not in a metaphorical sense anyway…

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