if nobody reads this thing, why bother posting it anyway?
He finishes with a "why bother". Well even if I had no readers at all, part of the reason for writing this blog is self-satisfaction - I do it partly for the simple joy of doing it. And why not?
My comment author was not alone, however, in questioning the place of optimism in business. "Business is a serious endeavour...", I was told on one occasion (by someone working in a not-for-profit organisation too), and he went on to suggest that there was no place for, or need for, optimism in a "grown-up" business.
I disagree. Strongly. All too often, the optimistic response is not considered by mature businesses. I recently set up a "Disaster Response Training Session" for a client. We talked through a scenario of a fire on the floor above my client's offices. The attendees were great - but did not consider the most optimistic outcome. Happy to consider the total loss of their offices and all their data, they did not, before I prompted them, consider the outcome that had the fire protection working, the data security working and their people doing all the right things. From a risk management point of view, this is not good. From a morale point of view it's not good either.
There is nothing wrong in looking at the optimistic outcome as well as the more pessimistic ones.
The same applies to strategic planning and marketing. Perhaps you already have the competitive advantage; perhaps you already have the competences that are needed to thrive in a market. Perhaps your strategy will work to the point of needing more staff, more offices, more support? These situations must be considered.
Be optimistic - there is nothing wrong with it. You will examine the same options as a pessimistic, but perhaps add a few new ones of your own. Given the choice, optimism is, if nothing else, easier to live with.