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Book Review: Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup by Bill Aulet

I've been working through 24 Steps to Disciplined Entrepreneurship book for the first time and have made it to step 10: define your core.

There are a few examples of what a company can articulate as their “crown jewels”. One option is Network Effect. This is used by tech companies like Facebook and Google. It is based on Metcalfe’s Law, “which essentially says that the value of the network to any individual on that network is exponentially related to the number of users on the network” (Aulet 123). I’m not sure right now if STILLearning will ever develop a strong Network Effect. I think that this would be a more long term service, and that it could be some sort of individuation tracking software adapted by the general public.

Then there is Customer Service. Aulet notes that, “by establishing processes and culture that focus on excelling at customer service, this potential core allows you to retain customers at a very high rate as compared to competitors, and thereby avoid costly churn” (124). These types of companies’ customers are always happy to be conducting activities associated with the business.

Another option listed is Lowest Cost. This is just what it sounds, something like Walmart. Offering a similar product at a reduced price. These companies turn profits usually due to their sheer size of market control.

The final option, and in my opinion -- the most appealing option -- is User Experience. User Experience is what Apple went with. Steve Jobs had a knack for knowing what the end user would want, and then being able to relentlessly bring together, inspire, and manage teams of highly competent individuals with the skills to bring his vision into reality. This is what I think will be the core of STILLearning. We want all our students to understand how STILLearing is an organization that is nothing more than an addon to his/her own individual experience. A proper STILLearning end user is someone who utilizes the resources provided by the foundation to achieve/live his/her own personal myth.

The Mission of STILLearning has to be aimed at solving a specific problem. After much research into economic theory that has been developed since the Enlightenment, I have reached the conclusion that humanity as a species is behaving quite ineffectively. Our STEM organizations have made mind boggling advances in both the development of our mechanical hardware and also our digital software, yet the habits and lifestyles of humanity have yet to revolutionize to the same degree that our tools and understanding of objective reality has.

I see the blame to be placed on humanity itself. On each and every single individual human. This is a core idea to all great religious traditions: the idea that each human contains something devine inside of them that is of cosmic significance. As the ancient myths go, humans are exploratory creatures molded in the image of God, and it is our fundamental purpose -- or motive -- to go out and do it. Explore Chaos/Experience Life --- > Learn ----> Revidify the Dead State is the meta story that all human stories are based on.

Modern People have this weird tendency to “forget” these ancient stories that are by definition the origins of human philosophy. It’s as if we pulled out enough of the valuable wisdom from our ancient stories and recodified it through warped, man-made ideologies. Nietzsche foresaw the “death of God” back in the 1800’s, and what I think he meant by it is that most people stopped respecting the traditional religions of old.

What’s interesting about the evolution of human culture, is that this process of a reordering of “the Gods” is a very normal and predictable pattern in human history. In fact, if you dive deep enough you will see that whenever there was a large advancement in philosophical thought, there too was a large advance in technological innovation, and when both happen, what must follow is a revolution of human culture.

The last revolution was the postmodern critique, which points out to the fundamentalist and dogmatic types that there are serious fallacies in the religious myths of old. There is also the point made that even if there is Truth, there also must exist every single individual perception of this Truth. This is where things get sticky… because even if you assume there is such a thing as True, it is subject to multiple interpretations at multiple levels of analysis.

This turned out to be waaaay too hard for anyone to comprehend and make sense of for a very long time. Since the proclamation of the “death of God” -- or the death of dogmatic organized religion -- we have tried many “new” systems of belief to build a successful society around.

It went really bad.

Like really really bad.

Here’s some spooky things from the Judeo-Christian ethic:

In the myth, there are Jehovah’s chosen people -- we modern people refer to them as 'Jewish'. Whenever humans fall too far away from Jehovah, it is always the chosen people who are punished the worst.

In the realm of SpaceTime, marxism was the next great belief system “tried out” by 19-20th century world leaders. You can go back and read the old poetry of Karl Marx, and your mind will be shocked at the darkness and resentment in his writings. Marx was angry at God the same way Cain was angry at God in the Genesis stories.

There was enough social hate for the humanized deterioration of the Roman-Catholic Church and the Protestant Church (Church of England) since the time of Christ for society to turn away from the Judeo-Christian ethic. Humans as a collective embraced the promises of the intellectual revolution driven by thinkers and scientists such as John Locke, Rene Descartes, Isaac Newton, and Voltaire.

Back to mythic fairytales, there’s this old idea that God the Father had a bunch of angles to help him rule his divine kingdom. The best of the angels is the archangel. As the story goes… the archangel reaches a state of individual power/competence where he/she believes he/she can challenge God. Shocker, the archangel can’t defeat God, and is thus cast out of heaven. This is the story of Lucifer, the bringer of light. Light is the symbolic representation of the intellect, and of scientific reason. Lucifer is also the Devil in the story. Such a strange backstory for the bad guy… the second-best good guy becomes the ultimate bad guy.

Let us now think of science as the second best good-guy. We’ll allow religion to hold the place of best good-guy. The secret idea here is that if the second best good-guy feels that it should be the thing of supreme importance, it will fail catastrophically.

I think this is what we have been seeing in our society today. Science is attempting to be the “new God.” God just means the thing (idea, myth, belief) that sits atop a human's internal value hierarchy.

“Heaven on Earth” -- represented in the myth -- works out just fine as long as the second best method STAYED subordinate to the best method.

The conclusion of this thought goes as follows… STEM Technology is and has led to the creation of a whole new entity -- machine -- and this entity already has the capabilities if properly harnessed to make the realm of SpaceTime orders of magnitude better. Better on a revolutionary scale. However, just because we built and are continuing to build better and better machines, it does not in no way imply that we will also possess the corresponding wisdom to USE these tools properly. With great power comes great responsibility. I believe that these phenomena are in fact directly correlated. Our STEM advancements have provided us great powers, but we are severely behind in regards to the development and translation of our Religious Myths into modern maps of meaning.

Our societies are in great danger if we do not take the time to restructure our financial and mythological structures. We must integrate the ancient wisdom of the great religions of old with the awesome powers of modern science and technology if we wish to reach the next revolution of human experience. It is not a matter of whether or not it will happen, it is a matter of how QUICKLY it will happen, and how COSTLY the price of delay will be.

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