Thinking about Danny Devito

George Clooney is a movie star. He looks like one. He makes tens of millions of dollars a year, hangs out at Cannes and has starlets falling at his feet.

Danny Devito is exactly five feet tall. He was perfectly cast as the Penguin.

Can you imagine the career advice Danny got? The well-meaning people who explained to him (as if he didn’t know) that he didn’t really look like George Clooney? That perhaps, maybe, he should consider a job as a personal trainer or short order cook…

The math, however, tells us something different.

(number of people resembling George Clooney)/(jobs for people resembling George Clooney) is a much bigger number than the ratio available to Danny. For the math challenged: Because everyone in Hollywood is trying to be George, there are a lot more opportunities for the few Dannys willing to show up.

Invest in Danny. The edges usually pay off.