Big bets are bad ideas… mostly.

I boggled at the risk taken in launching the James Webb Space Telescope today, Christmas Day. But, on reflection, the launch is only one small piece of the gamble.  The number of one-shot bets between firing the engines and the L2 Lagrange Point is staggering. The launch is only the first roll of the die, and it has to come up six many times.
This is _not_ how we should generally do business.  Have one mad bet on your portfolio, sure, but most bets need to be small, experimental, minimising blast radius. Big egos love big bets, but they’re mostly bad ideas.