"Abandon certainty! That's life's deepest command. We're a probe into the unknown, into the uncertain. If certainty is knowing absolutely an absolute future, then that's only death disguised! .... men must do this always, choosing uncertain instead of the certain."
- The Preacher, COD
"Seeking to know nothing of it. Knowing was a barrier which prevented learning."
- Leto II, COD
The battle is not with your fellow men, but out there with infinity.
- from my memory
These books, these stories, these roadmaps. These veiled fiction filled with fragments of history, technique and secret genius from centuries past. The men and women dead, exotic renaming. Myths twisted, double helix teachings re-purposed and packaged into a bestseller.
Almost caught in the rat race web dream - the fight of this world: black vs white, good vs bad, woman vs woman, man vs man, company vs company. It's a battle no-one wins. But many fight it, many win and much ground is gained.
I remember seeing Cory Doctorow at the height of the winning edge. It's hard to describe it. It's wasn't a man receiving an award - although that's what it was. It was full validation of the work he was doing. Good work. Work in the realm of good vs evil. Black vs white. He was fighting the good fight. The fight for values, for freedom, for a lot of things. But a fight for/against one side of a dualistic world. It was clear to me in that moment, that the dualism he fought for did - does indeed exist.
Yet, is a subset of a cohesive universe where good and evil, black and white are equal.
This reminds me of the amazing conversation I had with Jason Calacanis last Friday at StartupLA. We're on the UCLA campus. The sun had just set, the sky was my favorite swirling of red/orange and the full moon rose behind us as we talked. On the surface his stories may have been shocking, but there were many wise techniques described in his stories.
Here are some snippets, taken completely out of context, but perhaps you can get his drift.
- You miss 100% of shots you don't take.
- Everything is fair
- It's war, not a case study!
- If you're thinking about giving up, GIVE UP! The rest of us aren't going to.
- Don't look back, just move on
- Even a blind man can hit a baseball if he keeps swinging the bat!
- People overestimate the downside risk
- Proximity and affiliation
- How can I crush them?
I was most impressed by his ruthless in business. "Business is not about being nice." I loved his stories about hiring the "enemy." He would find great people, pay them well and give them equity in the brand. "You pick great people, treat them well, if they're not a good fit, fire them immediately." That's a no-brainer.
I think most of the audience listened to his war stories with shocked silence. From the moment he started talking about crushing the enemy, I was enthralled. And although I'm not sure I agree with crushing the competition attitude, I tried it on Saturday, when I lead the 3+ hour conversation entitled "How to crush Silicon Valley?"
In those three hours we went many very interesting places. Places we would not have explored without the audacious intent of "crushing" SV. Bottom line: it's not about crushing SV (why would I want to do that anyway?) it's about leveraging LA's many many assets. Lots more on this topic soon.
BTW - I love you NorCal. I'm not in this to crush you.