Courage, not Calculation…

Arun Katiyar pointed me to Esther Dyson’s answer in The Edge to the question: “When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?”:

In the world we live in, mathematicians and investors have become ever better at calculating risks, assessing outcomes, laying out possible scenarios. But real economic progress comes from taking challenges, not risks, and building something fantastic despite the odds, because you know you’re smarter and more dedicated and more persistent, and you can gather and lead a better team, than any rational calculation would indicate. That’s how new businesses get built, new markets get opened, new value gets created.

And real political, social and ethical progress, likewise, comes not just from negotiating a carefully calibrated “win-win” balance-of-power compromise, matching move for move, but from taking the lead, challenging the other guy to follow, showing the way forward. We make progress by stretching the imagination and doing things we won’t regret. When you cannot predict consequences, then you need to consider your conscience and do what’s right.

We need not calculation, but courage!

Wonderful! There are times when we do need to think from the heart, and not the head. The heart (and courage) is what guides the entrepreneur in the early days, when is trying to invent the future and make others see a world that does not exist. There is self-doubt many times a day. Will it work? Will it become a profitable business? Will one get customers? Is this the right path? If in doubt, these are the words to remember.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.