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Salim Ismail Metaphysics Of Growth
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Salim Ismail Metaphysics Of Growth

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Salim Ismail Metaphysics Of Growth Salim Ismail Metaphysics Of Growth Presentation Transcript

  • The Metaphysics of Growth How does growth happen? Salim Ismail Ignite SF 2008
  • Growth
    • Dictionary
      • 1. The process of growing.
      • 2. Development from a lower or simpler to a higher or more complex form; evolution.
      • 3. An increase, as in size, number, value, or strength; extension or expansion: population growth.
      • 4. Something that grows or has grown: a new growth of grass
      • Evolution, improvement, expansion…
      • ‘ more’… ‘better’
  • Growth is Pervasive
    • It’s everywhere
      • Any startup
      • Your code base
      • Economy
      • Personal growth
      • Finance
      • Evolution
      • Children
      • Nature
      • Is there any aspect of your life that doesn’t try to grow, improve or evolve?
  • Metaphysics
    • Physics: Studies reality
      • Science: The investigation of natural phenomena through observation, theoretical explanation, and experimentation, or the knowledge produced by such investigation.
    • Metaphysics: Examines the nature and structure of reality
    • What is the nature and structure of growth?
      • We don’t think enough about this….
  • Where does this come from?
    • Degree in theoretical physics
    • Comes from a lot of reading/writing I’ve done on philosophy/metaphysics for a few years
    • Robert Pirsig
    • “ Zen & the art of Motorcycle Maintenance”
    • “ Lila” – The metaphysics of Quality
  • New Metaphysics
    • Via Pirsig….
    • Our philosophies today are based on a subject/object metaphysics
      • Western philosphy stresses objective thinking
        • science, logic
        • tries to represent reality
      • Eastern philosophy thinks everything is subjective
        • Meditation
        • Tries to integrate with reality by going inwards
  • Structural problem in Philosophy
    • However
    • Large areas of life don’t fall into the subject/object buckets
      • E.g. Moral Values, or Love/Emotions
    • Causes a mess for philosophers… they’re having to cope with a major flaw in the underlying framework
  • Need a new metaphysics
    • Re-engineer from the bottom up and chuck the subject/object metaphysics
        • It’s the wrong split in reality
    • Need a new one that better covers life experiences
    • Based it on Quality (= goodness)
  • Take a phased approach
    • Dynamic Static
    Predictable Unpredictable Stable Unstable Definable/Divisible Undefinable Kinetic or Stored Potential Routine Exciting Safe Dangerous Limiting Limitless Easily measured Not quantifiable Old New
  • Two Processes in Growth
    • Growth
      • Break free from old pattern
      • Take on uncertainty/risk
      • Leap for a new level
    • Consolidation
      • Take a breath, establish some solidity
      • Get ready for next leap
    • These are archetypal
  • More on Growth… Grow Consolidate Unknown Known Yin Yang
  • Examples Growth can be negative!! Feedback & full rollout Feature releases via betas Product Mgmt Term sheet and finally $$$ Talk to hundreds of VCs Get funding Testing / Implementation Implement a new design Software Exam Learn all semester Student Consolidation Growth
  • http://hansvandevorst.com
  • More characteristics
    • Growth is cyclical
      • Tree rings
      • Code versions
    • It is nested (hierarchically)
      • As one part grows, so does the larger whole
    • “ Reculer pour mieux sauter”
          • Move back so you can jump further
          • Break old patterns to make way for new
  • Growth and Technology
    • All processes are either supporting
      • growth
      • infrastructure
    Unknown Known Yin Yang
  • Processes Inside Companies
    • Growth Consolidation
      • Fundraising Legal
      • Marketing Accounting
      • Sales Administrative
      • Product Dev’t Testing
  • Growth in Information
    • The internet is in serious growth mode
        • Lots of information types being layered onto it…
    • Text about things (HTML)
    • What I think about (blogs)
    • Who I know (social networks)
    • What I’m doing (twitter, pownce)
    • What is everyone else doing (friendfeed, Twhirl)
    • Where am I (Fire Eagle, Loop…)
    • What do I care about
    • What do I want (offers for sale)
    • What do I like / not like (reviews / ratings)
    Tom Coates: “ the web of data”
  • The process is usually the same
    • New data gets traction on the internet
    • Company X tries to own all that data
          • Used to be AOL
          • Today: Facebook
    • Standards are agreed and the data opens up
    • Competition thrives (or not…)
    • Back to A…..
  • Two Processes in Growth
    • Growth
      • Break free from old pattern
      • Take on uncertainty/risk
      • Leap for a new level
    • Consolidation
      • Take a breath, establish some solidity
      • Get ready for next leap
    • These are archetypal
  • Now that you understand growth
    • Take some risks…
    • Pick a technology/domain you’re passionate about…
    • Find a great idea that’ll solve a real need…
    • Go start a company and grow it…