Sometimes nothing happens for decades and then decades happen within weeks.

I woke up one fine day and decided to see if what I am doing is ever going to work out.

Some Background

I am deeply interested in Systems. MacroSystem like ““Political Systems or Economic systems or micro-systems like a “small business or even a family.”

Cynefin Framework to understand systems

This quest of mine led me to a book on the Cynefin Framework developed by Dave Snowden.

What is Cynefin Framework?

Cynefin Framework basically categories the system in 4 basic quadrants (plus another two quadrants, check image). In short, it helps you to analyse a system and then not use the same hammer for every nail.

It alerts you to the fact that you need to change your solutions depending on the problem.

*I highly recommend you read the book, it is complex upfront, but not hard to understand. Check out my book notes here. link *

Cynefin_as_of_1st_June_2014.png

So What Happened?

After looking at what I have in hand. I thought what I am dealing with is “Chaos”.

Too many variables!!!

There are so many variables I don’t know off. Of the variables I know, I don’t know how to get them under control.

Getting them under control would take enormous hard work and resources.

Neither am I young nor do I have enormous resources at hand.

TL:DR

After 10 years or so, I had failed to achieve a product-market fit.

Market can change anytime.

Even a monopoly-like Meta (Facebook) is no longer thought of as a safe bet.

No wonder that meta lost 230 billion in a single day.

Refer - Meta stock drop cost Mark Zuckerberg $31B in net worth—Only Elon Musk has lost more | Fortune

Why did I stick out for so long?

Well, Can I be forgiven for saying I was stupid?

ok, here is a bit longer explanation.

I was stuck with the identity. My brand was more about me than my brand. My personality had overtaken the business objectives.

It gave me an identity and a mission.

What was the mission?

Well, that was the problem. I kept pivoting the mission all the time. Not only did I keep changing my mission, but I also had multiple missions. I wanted to do it all.

I wanted to help small businesses thrive, I wanted better governance. I want people to never feel lonely (Yup, drunk on idealism). Then I wanted to write about everything that is worth writing.

In short - Too many ideas and no power to execute any of these.

So what the fuck did I learn?

The magic word here is market size. When the market you choose is too small, you are basically in “a crab in a bucket scene”.

Problems with smaller markets.

Whatever way I helped people, they never appreciated me. I felt hurt. They wanted more. The reason they didn’t appreciate me was that the business if it did well, would give me political and social clout. Doesn’t matter if I was planning to put that social clout to good use as per my altruistic mission.

In short - If the market size is small, you are in a zero-sum game.

Don’t be idealistic

Well, don’t go out of the way to be a do-gooder. So my hipster personality wants everyone to do yoga, have sex and live peacefully ever after.

But I learnt at the ripe age of 49 that the world is never going to be like that. We will probably be all be killed by smarter AI robots.

Think about the variables

People are the biggest variables. It takes a lot of grey hair to understand people’s motivation.

I believed every person is inherently trustworthy and wants to help.

What I discovered in the last 10 years is every person is out to kill you or cut down you to size.

If you appear weaker, they will go after you even with a much bigger force. They will kick your face when you expecting them to lift you up. (Unless you play a victim card on social media :).

Closing words

Life is much more brutal than I could have ever imagined. There is a ray of light somewhere, I can see it through a crack in a door.

This is a door that is saving humanity perhaps, and once you are on the other side, no one tells you what there. That’s secret knowledge.