The Origami of Instinct

We, as a society, are losing our instincts. I believe that instinct plays a role in successful startups. In a startup, it is imperative and essential you possess a passion for being the strongest, fastest, smartest or combination of all of the aforementioned with respect to the technology or business model you are creating. There are no gray areas concerning creating a successful agile business. You cannot pass off the blame or pass the buck in this environment. This is one reason that so many come back to the startup world. This is survival of the fittest. Yet some do not view it this way. They view a method of tearing down instead of raising everyone’s performance level.

Playing to Success; Playing to Failure

Some play to success or play to failure. Playing to succeed is the process that I prefer and honestly only know how to perform within the context of my career. Playing to success means that you involve as many people as possible in the discussions to make the pie larger for everyone. You also involve people that are BETTER than you.   I like to term this “Wolves Drinking Out of the Same Pond.” If all the wolves drink from the pond and protect the pond, it will create a more extensive and healthier pond for all the wolves (companies) involved. Playing to success is connecting the Elite of the Elite together. If you look at the world of successful startups, the people involved are usually multi-faceted over-achievers. They are great business types AND world-class rowers; they are world-class programmers AND accomplished musicians. Then most add extracurricular endeavors like marathon running, martial arts, or extreme sports. Most read self-help books or some non-fiction daily; if it is fiction, it usually is something arcane, or they are re-reading, Milton’s Paradise Lost. These people usually seek out others of like kind to aid them. Also, most do not need self-help books, yet they strive to make themselves better at all costs.

So let’s return to the importance of losing our instincts. Our ability to perceive fight or flight situations are becoming less and less. We do not, daily, need to detect these situations or do we? We no longer need to smell the air to detect an adversary. What does that do to our pre-cognitive processes when engaging with an adversary (read competitive company). Is tearing down the new competitive startup advantageous?

On the contrary, startups should ban together. The startups are the wolves. We have the advantage, we have the speed, might and willpower, and passion for creating faster and more focused entities. Exits are Acquisitions. So why wouldn’t we want to increase our ability to detect Fight or Flight? Do you think that Venture Capitalists can’t detect when you are not entirely committed or are unsure of the answer you were just asked? You bet they can detect any fright mechanism. Use at your disposal what led you to arrive at this juncture. To increase and practice your senses (all 6 of them), and I bet it will make you a better entrepreneur. If it doesn’t, at least you will have improved yourself. For those that already know, you already have, and I will see you at the pond.