Before I get started, I feel, it’s probably a good idea to set the backdrop of the story as a context to just why did I decide to write about the concept of value. So here it is.
I got on a scheduled conference call with two potential investors who were kind enough to show interest in investing in one of the business ventures that I am currently involved with. I am told, we have managed to put together quite an attractive ecosystem, and in all honesty, it is quite gratifying to learn that, the idea you have conceived as a business is getting people’s attention. For me, the success of an idea depends on the potential future growth value of the idea, and the ability of a team to execute that idea in a real world scenario to the best of their ability. The higher the level of execution, the greater the success.
That is what I was attempting to relay to the two gentlemen, and during our 50 plus minutes call, we discussed various aspects of the ecosystem especially why I personally see growth and value in what we have created and conceived. My own belief is that, an idea with a real capacity to provide significant sustainable growth will over time will lead to creation of exponential value, thereby enabling robust and measurable wealth creation. From my own perspective, I firmly believe that, entrepreneurs and promoters should always be focused on value creation and not just on a fasted extraction of existing value, because that makes the system unsustainable. It widens up the income inequality in our society, because no real wealth is being created by disrupting the existing value system. If you are able create and add value then you should be able to capture it on a sustainable basis, thereby benefiting your potential shareholders and investors as well as the society.
A partnership shouldn’t be about getting what you want on your terms, a sustainable partnership should be conceived in a way that allows the two parties to get to a new place together, and create real value and growth opportunities in an arrangement that’s beneficial to all sides.
And that’s more or less the backdrop to the topic I have decided to write about. So now I will focus on the idea of value and the perception of what is valuable, which is obviously why I decided to write about the subject.
During my discussion with the two gentlemen, I took the liberty of going a bit off topic, which was obviously the issue of fund raise, and instead I thought we could spend 5 minutes or so deliberating on the concept of what’s value. And then I asked the Gentlemen, what part of their anatomy and physiology etc they value most, in other words, what part of their body they value most. I didn’t get an answer, and that was expected, so I decided to expand the question a bit further by saying and also asking at the same time. I would say in terms of ranking, most people will put their face at the top, which includes the eyes and nose etc, so face probably takes number uno position, and then it’s probably hands, thighs, bum etc. And they both responded saying “ Yes, that’s probably right “. Which sort of made the discussion a bit more interesting, so taking the liberty again, I told them.
For our discussions purposes, let’s imagine you just have a face but no hand, legs or a bum. What’s the value of a face then ? And on that, one of the Gentlemen said “ I don’t care, I need the entire body to function well. I need my face, but also other parts of my body obviously “. And that’s true, isn’t it ? Why would nature go to great lengths to conceive a human being with just a face, it figured out what a human body should be like, in order for it to function well, and therefore nature conceived the most efficient structure of a possible human body. In a way most humans parts are of significance, at least in relative terms, it’s true.
But somehow overtime, we humans have learnt to value and prioritise face and the overall build of a human body differently. Also, how we value bodies differs along gender lines. For example, generally most heterosexual men would value a female body as a package, and it is a very well understood metrics. And that’s why there tends to be a bit of pressure on female gender to be a good looking package, in order to be considered more valuable. Also, it’s quite intriguing to note that most heterosexual men tend to put almost no value on their body parts like penises, because quite frankly if a vagina was looking for a penis then there is a very strong probability of over supply of penises being offered to meet the requirements or demand of a vagina. And therefore, as some would say, a vagina tends to carry more value than a penis. Mostly because the holders of penises don’t understand their value or self worth, even though they perform a very important role. And there is a reason why nature conceived a penis as an organ. From nature’s point of view, a penis is equally as important as a vagina, or else why conceive or create it at all ?
Now the obvious question many would ask is, what does it mean and why is all this relevant? Well! there is an important human psychology linked to the overall concept and idea of value, and that’s perception and perspective. Yes, in terms of business and for market functions purposes, we have conceived tools, metrics and methodology to justify value or valuation. But we can never escape basis human instinct and psychological aspects of what humans are, and therefore perception and perspective will play an important role in how we see value. And that is always at display as a feature of how the markets work. For example, in a society of 30 people, if 20 people were to agree to a specific value then that becomes the market value, because that’s the popular perception and perspective. The question then is, do we need a discussion on the concept of value ? And the answer is a definitive yes, but in the foreseeable future, we will continue to have divergent views on the idea of value. And that’s an important function of the markets.
Interesting … Very interesting !! Here are my thoughts …
1st Thought on reading this story, reminded me of a childhood story which almost each Indian kid get to hear from her/his parents or grandparents; about “Blind men & Elephant” and the story goes .. “The parable of the blind men and an elephant originated in the ancient Indian subcontinent, from where it has been widely diffused. It is a story of a group of blind men, who have never come across an elephant before and who learn and
conceptualize what the elephant is like by touching it. Each blind man feels a different part of the elephant’s body, but only one part, such as the side
or the tusk. They then describe the elephant based on their limited experience and their descriptions of the elephant are different from each other. In some versions, they come to suspect that the other person is
dishonest and they come to blows. The moral of the parable is that humans have a tendency to claim absolute truth based on their limited, subjective
experience as they ignore other people’s limited, subjective experiences which may be equally true!”
Now, “Value” in your story can be compared to “absolute truth” which each blind man found in his own experience. So, when one of the investor talks
about ‘face” being the most valued part of body, that’s like one blind man from above story, claiming that elephant is like ‘broom” as he could only
touch elephants tail !!
Now, that brings us to the last paragraph of your post, Value or absolute truth cannot be restricted to one part of body and thus it’s important to have “perception and perspective” of the situation. Having said that,
certain basic values do not change with time, age or for that matter perception or perspective such as “TRUTH”, unless we stand on two opposite side, then & only then, my right is your left and we both are still on the side of the truth. So when you form a partnership, the most important value is, all partners are on one side! One can defer with views but not on core values !!
Thats the best description of value i had ever came across and i value your thoughts because you value your imagination and the brain plays the central role for imagining.thus,the part of our body which is most valuable is definitely our brain.Also,our brain will function well only when our physiology is in good shape.
Right time derives the best value out of anything so if one can get the timing right they can derive the best value out of anything.Hence time is a parameter which one should also value.
Lastly i genuinely value whatever your brain generates and i am a big fan of your thoughts/ideas.keep on educating me and many others out there.
Many thanks for sharing your thoughts Nishant, much appreciated!