Friday, December 01, 2006

I Hate "Opportunity"

If I had a dollar for every time a person came to me and told me he had a great "opportunity"... well you know what I mean.

I'm too tired of hearing people with some great business idea or opportunity to palm off on me. Whether it's some MLM idea or unthought out startup idea.

If some bloody idea is really that great a money maker, why the heck are you sharing it with me? Shouldn't you just hire some people and run with it?

Ridiculous claims like "unlimited income". Dude, even light has speed limits. MLM recruitment talks basically make you into a salesman not an entrepreneur.

And I hate the way the word entrepreneur is abused. Sure there are entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, but the mom and pop grocery store, the barber round the corner, the ice-cream vendor on the street are also entrepreneurs.

Philosophical Question: Is it the pattern of the world to use each other? Perhaps that is too negative a view. Instead of seeing businessman as parasites, perhaps business is a form of symbiosis.

A more integrated view is to see it as a dynamic ecosystem of human life and economy. Yes there are parasites, there are piranhas, but there are also lions and tigers.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ant Intelligence

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! (Proverbs 6:6)

Most scientists consider brain size one of the most important things in a the development of a creature, yet ants have brains smaller than a grain of sand and create some of the most complex structures in the animal kingdom.

How do they do it? Did the queen call out for tender for proposals from other ants? Did they use the best competitive bid? Did they use PERT charts, GANTT charts or other project management techniques? Do they have daily meetings or strategic think weeks to chart their progress?

I watched a program on TV with fascination as the it discussed various aspects of ant behaviour and how they interact.

If humans were to create one of the ant colonies found in the Argentine pampas with the intricacy and manpower needed it would be a wonder of the world.

Yet ants achieve this constantly.

What is the secret to this?

In a nutshell communication and simple rules. Everything is about communication in an ant colony. Ant pheromones signal danger, where the good food is, etc.

Ever notice that when ants meet each other they greet each other with their antennas? That's communication.

Decisions are made democratically. Ants always find the shortest path to a food source based on the density of their pheromone trails.

So the next time you meet a colleague or friend, take time to network with them. That's the secret of the ant.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Krav Maga

A colleague introduced me to Krav Maga, which is a modern martial-art.

It seems that I may pick this as the martial art to learn as it is a real-world martial art. It isn't a sport. There are no competitions and performances. It is a practical self-defense art.

It's been tested on the streets of Tel Aviv and in combat since World War 2.

It teaches you how to handle real-life situations like muggers, armed opponents, being outnumbered, hand grenades, etc and not some theoretical Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon duel situation.

It doesn't involve religious or spiritual elements. In fact, if there is anything spiritually linked to it, was the fact that it was created by an Israeli.

Nasty stuff, reading the articles. It is a no holds barred martial art with an anything goes move. Groin, eyes are not excluded. Weapons, including modern weapons are involved like guns, shotguns, etc. The training also involves it when you are incapacitated or disadvantaged like smoke, dazed, etc.

However, the civilian form taught only involves the self-defense part and not the offensive part (including killing) which commandos and special forces learn. In fact, some countries have legal restrictions on what can be taught.

Scary stuff, indeed.