Bill Buxton wrote a great post this morning on Business Week's Innovation blog, http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/. In a conversation with his friend, Roger Martin from the Rotman School, the two friends discussed the parallels between starting a business and ice climbing. They compared the characteristic of people drawn to these two activities, specifically their appetite for risk.
The parallel drew out some interesting comparisons such as training, having the necessary tools and trusting in the process. I would also add that there is risk in everything - even in not doing something. We often consider the risk of starting a business, going ice climbing, etc. though we rarely mention the flip-side: how will our happiness, sense of satisfaction and accomplishment be affected long-term by deciding not do something that interests us?
Will we get to a point in our lives when these opportunities are no longer possible because of other choices we made, and then look back with some kind of regret and sadness that we didn't do something more bold that made us feel alive? While more difficult to conceptualize and put data behind, the point merits some consideration. In the long-run, I've found it's the chances we take, combined with the ones we let pass by, that make up a life.
See Buxton's full post at: http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/mar2008/id20080312_205292.htm?chan=innovation_innovation+%2B+design_top+stories