Having perused many topics and of course put my 2-cents into whatever, in a never-ending flow of words, I`ve been thinking. This may be more of an article, or it might be a conversation starter, I dunno...but comment away, ye hearty reader. :-)
People ask me, what the hell does philosophy have to do with anything!
I`m a business person, I don`t need a bunch of artsy-fartsy pointless
gobblety-gook! I need real things, real answers, and things that really
apply! I want tangible results, that I can work with, that mean
"Philosophy`s all well and good to discuss when you`re drunk, around
the kitchen table at two in the morning, but c`mon....reality? Get
Yup...definitely an attitude based on the utter and total bankruptcy of
modern academic philosophy! I agree completely, but that doesn`t mean
philosophy itself has no relevance.
Consider an elevator pitch. What exactly is it? How does it relate to a
forty-dollar word like "ontology" (the metaphysical study of the nature
of being and existence)?
Isn`t an elevator pitch the "definition" of your business, your
product, what you do, why you do it, and what you want? Has anyone
asked you to ever define the word "definition?" Probably not, because
that`s a "semantics" issue. A definition points to the subsuming
set, and isolates the unique attribute.
What`s "subsume," or "set," or "unique?" How come people routinely say
something is very unique, really unique, super unique? Unique means one
of a kind. Period. It`s simply unique. But people use the term because
words aren`t all that important anymore, these days.
Good, so try a 10-second elevator pitch without words? Go ahead and do
that search engine optimization (SEO) without understanding words.
Doesn`t it stand to reason that knowing more about how to define
something and how to use words would be the key to creating a good
So many people are stumbling on such a basic thing: Define your
business and tell me what you want, all in 1 minute! Is it really that
hard? No, it isn`t, if you know language and can form images; if you
understand the principles of the art of conversation, and can build
empathy with a stranger.
Philosophy is the process of building a consistent body of information
about something. So we have the philosophy of engineering, music, art,
accounting, or baking. What makes it better than just a reference
manual, is we also can have a consistent, organized body of information
about abstractions like morality, justice, diplomacy, economics, and
An elevator pitch is a definition. Definitions are a function of
semantics, set theory, information theory, and reality. Reality is
composed of entities, attributes, and measurement. Which is what?
Your business: Is it an entity---a thing unto itself? Or is it an
attribute of you---a descriptive aspect of you, the actual entity? Is
your elevator pitch a measure of how fast you can talk, a list of
attributes of your business? Or is it a definition of what is unique to
your business within the set of all possible businesses?
Someone asked me once to teach them how to define things. That`s like
teaching someone the meaning of the plus or equal sign. It`s not
possible. You can get thousands of examples that demonstrate the way a
plus sign works, but until you have an "Ah hah!" moment, and simply
"get it," you won`t know what the plus sign does. Nobody knows
why---it`s a mystery!
"And," "not," "same as," "more than," "less than," are absolutely basic
to logic. But nobody can teach logic. You "grok" it, to use a sci-fi
word for getting it. You make a conceptual "leap" and suddenly, you
just know. So too with "If...then" statements; they come out of the
imagination and the human ability to manipulate non-existent events.
But I can teach the definition of a definition. I can focus you on the
idea that logic is consistent, non-contradictory statements. You have a
business. You have a product. Which comes first, the business...or the
Business is a measure of your action on the product. But without a
product, why have a business? The product is a thing---an entity. As
such, it`s unique. Why? It can be "like" this or that, but it isn`t
"the same as." What is it that exactly makes your product Unlike
everything else, regardless of how closely it seems to be the same?
That`s your elevator pitch. That`s what`s unique. It`s the single,
unique attribute of your own personal entity. From there, we need only
to measure how much money is associated with it, how many transactions
happen, what quantities, how much raw material, and so forth and so on.
Philosophy from an ivory tower is pointless, dumb, and pretty much
meaningless. Except that it points to names of people who`ve lived
before us, who did some pretty interesting thinking, and who might have
some ideas about solving today`s problems. But university philosophers
mostly just go `round in circles.
Don`t let yourself be turned off by the concept of Organizing! Getting
organized! Isn`t that what accounting is all about? Isn`t that
inventory management, database management, CRM, mailing lists, and
every other thing that gets organized? Philosophy provides the
definition of "What is organization?"
If you don`t know what you`re talking about, nobody else will either.
And without words, you`ll have a hard time talking or thinking. The
most basic questions in philosophy and real life are, "What is this
place? How does it work? What must I do to survive in this place?"
Think about that when you contemplate your passion, and your decision to enter into a new "place"----the market place. :-)