Monday, May 17, 2004

Plants are Entrepreneurs

by Asim Jalis

There are two opposing principles in nature: the animal principle and the plant principle. Plants are lazy, passive, but also the ultimate effectuators. Plants leverage their current position for whatever it's worth. This strategy backfires, for example in a forest fire. But it seems to work reasonably well most of the time. Plants operate under a strange wisdom that seems counterintuitive to the animal mind. They don't understand the zero sum game of attack and defense. Their whole existence is centered around creating value. Plants are entrepreneurial. They do tiny amounts of work. They take advantage of opportunities that arise near them. But, of course, only those opportunities that are accessible. Plants firmly believe the world they are in is the best. The grass is greener right here. Plants have a weird strategy for survival. They are neither offensive nor particularly defensive. Trees passively let themselves be chopped down. It is rather amazing that something so passive, so helpless can survive and even thrive? They do this of course through forming symbiotic relationships with the environment around them and by effectuating. Entrepreneurship is about being like a plant. There is a plant principle which works with the animal principle. Success is a result of a kind of mingling of the two.