Here’s a great story from Martin Fridson about the importance of quick reaction time to crisis. Future billionaire Phillip Anschutz was contract drilling for Chevron in 1968, when a spark from a truck set his entire field ablaze.
Anschutz found himself facing ruin as he had borrowed heavily to secure the lease. The average person watching his capital go up in smoke would have been forgiven for curling up into a ball on the floor and going catatonic. Not Anschutz. What he did was quickly buy the lease of his panicked neighbor by assuming his liabilities and then raising $100,000 by selling Universal Studios the rights to film his burning oil rigs for their film Hellfighters, which had John Wayne playing the famous oil field fire-fighter Red Adair. The money allowed him to then hire the real Adair to put out the fire. In the end, Anschutz realized a “healthy profit.”