If God was an Entrepreneur - Part 2

(Continuing to see through the rose tainted startup glass)

Formulation, Evolution and Valuation

The stories of UFO sightings go as far back as 1400 BC when the Egyptians first saw fiery discs in the sky. Notwithstanding NASA’s failure to find life elsewhere despite a $20 Billion annual budget, many people, from Pharaohs to Spielberg, have given us varied versions of how aliens look like. If any of these are indeed true, I infer God is possibly a serial entrepreneur already.

The guesstimates on evolution of universe and the life in it, all seem to indicate that He follows a certain method in building these habitable enterprises (or planets).

1.Start small with whatever little is available (His resources vary from cloudy Nebula to dicey Dark matter)

2.Transform these slowly into a sphere. Now, sphere is actually a very optimal shape- it has the best surface area to volume ratio, is symmetrical from all sides and has no weak edges or specific vulnerable points. It’s worthwhile to note that while God has no dearth of Space and can choose more flamboyant shapes like a trapezoidal prism or cuboid, He decides to be optimal and frugal instead.

3.Once a strong infrastructure is ready, He moves in the low risk test marketers like single cell bacteria, with a freehand to evolve into more complex organisms.
4.He tweaks continually, using all sorts of tools like rain, volcanoes and continental drifts, till the climatic conditions are just right and conducive for the evolving complex life.

5.More importantly, He does all this real slow. Real, real slow, I mean. Smallest of developments are spread over billions of years. Things evolve steadily; bit by bit; cell by cell.

From our skewed start-up upbringing, we may find this a painfully slow template to build an enterprise. We know that even if things are at nebulous stage, you can still scale it up faster. All it requires is a tool called Valuation, some projections and some assistance from Angels and VCs. If only God knew about it!
As with all His cryptic messages, I m sure there is a profound meaning in this Planet-building thing. But with my disabilities in understanding His deeper intents, the best I could do is simplify His formula as below.

1.Start small with bootstrapped capital.
2.Build a frugal but robust infrastructure.
3.Refine the business model at smaller scale and get required traction.
4.Continually address the challenges of scalability over period of time.
5.Build things at your pace and don’t bother about valuations.

While His pace of things is outdated, things are built on His own strength, His own resources and thankfully, built to last for ages. Maybe self sufficiency is a good thing, after all. Maybe not knowing too much about valuations is a good thing for Him. Maybe too many cooks could have spoilt the broth. Maybe it’s a good thing that we have only one stakeholder, one God to deal with.

Maybe slow and steady is good too.  And as an afterthought, maybe sustenance should supersede speed and scale.

Maybe? God Knows!

Building organisational culture!
It would be an understatement to say that different people see God in different ways. While some are busy finding Him between their eyebrows or places of worship, others are trekking to Himalayan caves or deserts. His relationship with us is a moot point too. King, Son, Father, Mother, Holy Spirit or Big Boss- to each his own!

He chooses to deliver messages through self-proclaimed, sometime dubious, spiritual officers. Seems bizarre that one who can build huge wireless devices like solar system wouldn’t know how to send a direct email, CCed to all?

I doubt if being inaccessible, confusing and incommunicado is a good way to build an enterprise!

Theological school of Deism propounds that God is merely a silent spectator. It must be disappointing for those who want to act as per ‘will of God’. Our notions notwithstanding, there is little empirical evidence that He has any preference for loyalty or ‘Yes Sir’ or weightage for good deeds or sacrifice. His appraisal system is erratic at best. Haven’t you noticed that someone always seems to be getting more reward with much less work or fasting?

And then there is this unpredictability. First He would ignore the overcapacity build up and then retrench using crude methods like cyclones or mosquitoes. No wonder why so many people are angry with His policies. No wonder attempts to define Him cause so much mayhem.

Whatever happened to those lessons on leadership- be fair and consistent, reward people, encourage loyalty. Is this how you build organisations, dear God?
While I lament, there is distinct theme I notice – He doesn’t interfere except coincidentally.  He doesn’t meddle if you get an idea, feel inspired and start pursuing it to a tangible conclusion. He doesn’t interfere if you fail, gather yourself up and redo it. I know we need someone to hold our hand (or fund fast depleting bank accounts) if things aren’t going your way but it seems non-interference is His way of encouraging us to take action, pursue excellence and take full responsibility of it.

He takes our errors in stride. He tolerates the little chaos, garbage and damage to Earth and even takes the blame for all things that go wrong. That’s some liberty just to encourage ideation, action and responsibility in us!

Now imagine if you let all your employees get their own ideas to workplace and in their zeal to get things moving, they end up blowing the roof! Would you patiently wait for them to realise their folly, hoping they would rebuild it soon and while some of them vociferously blame you for making the roof from such fragile concrete! Who can risk so much, provide all resources and be a mute spectator, just to ensure people can follow their heart, be creative and take action for what they want to pursue? God I guess.

Needs hell (or heaven) lot of patience! Some may call it divine grace, divine forgiveness or divine kindness. Others may call it faith in humanity. Through the pink glasses of entrepreneurship, it sounds like a strong commitment to intrapreneurship.

Is He a role model for entrepreneurs?

Considering all things about God seem like conjectures, I m not sure if He is a role model for entrepreneurs. My own relationship with Him is complex and complicates by the day. Just like an electron in Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, I m never sure of His real position.

But I do look up often. Not so much to pray but hoping to understand His cryptic messages and get a lesson or two from His working style. Most of the times, I don’t find much in the dark grey sky of the city. But then there are lucky days when stars are visible. It keeps me going.

There could be an easier way though. Close your eyes and look inside. I’m told the grand entrepreneur often visits there.

(click here for Part 1)
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