[Treat in Retreat] Fishing, Food and Star-up Ecosystem
Category : Uncategorized
Foreword : The post is indebted to a very detailed analysis on the present market situation presented by Mr. Sushobhan Mukherjee, Chairman, Infoconglobal here : https://sushobhanm.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/market-mystery/]
As a small town boy of Greater Bengal, I always liked punting, rowing and fishing. In my personal opinion, fishing is one of the best ways to mix purpose, leisure, concentration and hopeful imagination. Jim Corbett wrote such a piece while he caught a mahasheer in Kumayaun and the narration has such an excellent literary quality that we can read this again for pleasure.
Fishing and food are closely related, especially for people of Bengal, Kerala, Japan. In Japan, there is a religious reverence for food and its freshness. The fish should carry a bit of the sea. In Bengal and Kerala, the synthesis happens – the fishiness of the fish is masked under a miraculous canopy of layer and layer of spices and fragrances. Just like a Bengali tongue cannot speak Japanese easily and vice versa, a Bengali tongue will not be able to appreciate the taste of Japanese fish dishes immediately and vice versa. Why ?
Culture’s ultimate and concrete handle is neither the research of tenured professors, nor of the tales of the travelers or the tome of the culture scientists but an organ each one carries – our tongue.
I have the experience of fishing in deep sea, in lakes, ponds, rivers in various geographies but mostly in the backwaters of Kerala. I have forgotten completely the catch (output) part of all of them but vividly remember the sunlight, the dark shade, the waves in water, sometime a drizzle. Once near Allepey, I was fishing in brackish water and the backwater was something like a circular area surrounded by coconuts. Suddenly, the sun was covered by a cloud, a magical shade came, in the distant, I could see a ship sailing far away towards Western, only its starboard side visible. In the pale blue water, seen through the coconut foliage, I “felt” as if I am fishing 500 years back and the ship is that of Vasco Da Gamma !
This brings me to the philosophy aspect of fishing. Fishing business for pleasure is a business where output is immaterial if one conducts the business in the right spirit.
Catching fish is a very low end objective of a true fishing enthusiast.
We seldom approach our business with such a spirit.
When we were younger, start-up was a verb, not a noun as it is today.
Since 2013, I have been observing “start-up ecosystem” and as a fishing enthusiast, I can claim some expertise in understanding “ecosystems”. What do I observe ?
In brief, I find that most of the start-ups are not interested to internalize the wisdom of the fishing business. Venture Capital is their fishing rod and fish feed, the pond is the world that needs to be rocked or changed and fish is the valuation. They are burning Venture Capitalist offered feed with an exotic burn rate in a tower by the side of the pond and hoping that the smell and smoke thereof will hypnotize the fishes deep below and they will soon come in shoals and in millions and billions.
Just like fishes cannot be bribed, so are customers. It is against all known laws of physics, chemistry and consciousness that one can become rich by burning money to get paying customers.
To catch a fish and continue catching fishes, one needs to catch and control three inner fishes first : greed, hubris and ego.