I realized recently that the most effective use of my time has become systems design. Most of my software projects suffer from entropy almost immediately, faltering without other people involved to spur them on. I can’t keep updating all the software and sites I want to write forever.
So now I’ve begun a completely new approach to the businesses and projects I take on. That is, I now have the following terms and conditions before I’ll touch any new project:
- Other People’s Money
- Other People’s Efforts
- Other People’s Intelligence
Understand, I now understand that entropy is built into everything. If I don’t incorporate other people’s efforts and capital into my project, it’s too easy for them to wither away.
Business As Systems Design
So, instead of designing solutions in software, I like to view business as an opportunity to create new systems. These systems create new customers, and provide for their needs through creative application of other people’s talents.
Building a better world is a key motivation in my work. In doing so, in remains that the most important task of all is being a coach to others, including myself.
Business As Moral Imperative
So I don’t see business as a process of extracting a profit from as many potential customers as possible. I see business as a process of unlocking potentialities.
- I take capital that would otherwise be invested in processes that were wasteful, and make them more efficient.
- I take talented people who would otherwise be underutilized, and I push them to be better.
- I take intelligence and ideas, and I apply them in ways that would otherwise not have been possible.
It is this flow and this design that really excites me. Because I see the potential within the organization to create better people, better products, and a better world.
Building Positive Feedback Loops
In essence, entrepreneurship is all about creating positive feedback loops. Becoming a systems designer, but the systems we are designing are actually life itself.
Getting even more meta, we are all reality designers, and our jobs as entrepreneurs is to create an even better reality than existed before.
Ycombinator itself is a great example of this systems design. Paul Graham is more of a coach and mentor to the people involved in the startup.
Focused on Unlocking the Potentials of People, Capital, and Ideas
Instead of focusing his efforts on building some new widget, he’s in the business of building new positive feedback systems. Unlocking the capital, the intelligence, and the wisdom to flow into new systems.
Truly effective people understand the wisdom in building self regulating systems, with positive feedback and growth continuing past the initial effort.