Profiting from UPOD

UPOD = under promise and over deliver is a habit that is common to winners. As an eclectic investor, I have been able to profit handsomely from this habit.

Let’s break down UPOD to its two components.

Under promise

Have you seen in Star Trek, when the USS Enterprise was in trouble and Captain Kirk asked Scotty how long it would take for him to fix the engines? Scotty said something like 4 hours and Kirk replied that he needed it fixed in 1 hour or they would all die. Somehow, Scotty always managed to fix the ship in the time allotted. Scotty is considered a “great engineer”, a miracle worker. The trick is that he always multiplies the time it would take him by a factor to pad his estimates. This is under promising. At Bain, I did the same thing. I would always manage the expectation of my clients. If I could deliver a study in on four weeks I would tell them it would take six.

Over deliver

Once you have managed expectations, you must deliver what you promised. If you don’t deliver your UPOD exercise is useless. In the USS Enterprise case, the ship didn’t explode and Scotty delivered the fix. You should always make sure you can deliver above and beyond what is asked. In my case at Bain, what I promised in six weeks was delivered in five but with something extra. Give more than what was promised. That is the secret to UPOD.

Ok, so how do you profit from UPOD?

1) At a personal level, practicing the UPOD builds your reputation as a miracle worker. This will open the doors to many opportunities. People would want to have you on their team. They will want to invest with you.

2) At the investor level, if you know to UPOD you will be able to detect other people that UPOD. As they say, it takes one to know one. Hence, you will profit from investing in those people or businesses that UPOD. I like looking for businesses that under promise and over deliver; these are companies that consistently beat their earnings expectations. They manage the expectations of their investors, and they beat them by a lot. Until recently, when Steve Jobs ran Apple, it was a UPOD company. They would always sand bag the earnings guidance for the following quarter and then they would beat the earnings guidance by 50% or more. The stock price would pop higher. That is the result of UPOD.

Winners UPOD, losers OPUD (over promise and under deliver)! Be a winner and profit from UPOD.

If you have any questions or comments on UPOD please post them below, in the comments section.

Have a profitable day!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.