GETTING TO PHILOSOPHY
Matters2 Managing Partner
WHY YOU CAN’T ESCAPE PHILOSOPHY
Here is an experiment that you can conduct, right now. Open any Wikipedia page, on any topic of your choosing. Click on the first hyperlink in the main text of the article. Click on the first link in the body of that new article. Repeat the process on subsequent pages. Keep going…
Eventually, you will get to the page for ‘Philosophy’. In February 2016 this was true for 97% of Wikipedia articles, a notable increase on previous years. But why does this phenomenon occur and how can you use it to your advantage if you are one of the founders of a new business?
AND NEED TO STOP TRYING
There are number of theories as to why we always “get back” to Philosophy. The most widely accepted one is that most articles begin by outlining the fundamentals of their topic: What is it? Why is it important? By defining the subject broadly at the start, each article takes you further up a chain of classifications. Topics get larger and more abstract, until you inevitably find yourself at ‘Philosophy’.
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
It is only by getting right back to basics that you force yourself to confront the really big questions. What is your product or idea, expressed in simple terms? Who is it really for? Why should anyone invest in it? How will you sell it? What is motivating you to work so hard on it, when it could be months before you see a return?
If you are struggling to find answers to the above, or to articulate them, it’ll be tricky to convince investors to fund you. You’re probably putting a considerable amount of your own money into this start-up, so you need to be clear about your aims and goals.
Spend some time really grappling with these concepts. Decide what your mission is. Decide what your vision is. And decide why they matter.