Robert McNamara

The U.S. Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara, required that every possible combat statistic be recorded and tracked. Famously, McNamara once asked the Head of Special Operations at the Pentagon, Edward Lansdale, for his views on the data collected.

Lansdale’s response was, “Something’s missing…you might call it the X factor.”

“What’s that?” McNamara asked.

“The feelings of the Vietnamese people,” Lansdale replied.

The story then goes that McNamara initially jotted down an ‘X’ but then erased it, asking sarcastically how anyone could get an accurate reading on people’s feelings.

In retrospect we know what an oversight that…

Harrison Moot

Investment Team @ TDM.

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