The Holistic Startup

November 26, 2012 — Leave a comment

A new global economy is in front of us, powered largely by long wave forces, object-oriented programming, cloud-computing, open-source software and entrepreneurial innovation. The web app is here! Unforeseeable opportunities await those willing to venture their time and talent into this exciting realm. The Holistic Startup is an open-ended idea to describe a new way of thinking about Startups in general.

The core of the idea of The Holistic Startup is: “I am the Startup”.

It’s about identity, perspective and not just what I do and achieve, but how I do it. The idea of holism suggests great benefit in attempting to look at something as a whole. A holistic startup doesn’t have to begin with one person. Hence, “We are the Startup”. However, the Startup isn’t something external to myself, or us. This subtle shift in thinking now allows us to carry forward in a new way. I’m not investing time and money into a business. I’m investing in myself, educating myself, training myself, growing myself. In this context, success is guaranteed.

As a holistic startup, we’re not interested in investments from venture capitalists. We think holistically. We reject the stress and pressures of external capital, but thrive on the eustress of challenging ourselves with lofty visions and goals. Therefore our first goal is to remove as much financial pressure from our lives as possible in order to foster flowing creativity. Living with parents, family or friends, the people who really know if we’re a good investment or not, creates time in several obvious ways.

We may also reject the idea of investing 4 years of our time and $80,000 into a college degree, risking the chance of graduating in debt and unable to find work. We see the vast opportunities for online and self-education, such as Khan Academy etc., and revel in the challenge of self-organizing our own custom-fit curriculum, matching our exact interests and needs. We delight in learning from others, but also in our own independence.

By educating ourselves to harness open web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, we increase the value of our startup. By engaging in open-source projects and collaborating with others to create solutions, we increase our value. We are not just interested in profits, but in how we live our daily lives. We are driven to solve common needs and our businesses reflect our passions and interests. They are part of who we are.  We start out small,  micro-sized,  but that is the key to our strength. We can adapt and respond to unforeseeable opportunities very quickly due to our small size.

The Holistic Startup embraces overlapping goals and projects as  a way to connect with other like minds and harness the synergy of community involvement. For example, I intend to create a web app to help simplify food shopping. In the process of learning how to do this, I wanted to help others benefit from my research and knowledge, so I created this site. This has already created new beneficial relationships with others who share some of my goals and interests. These auxiliary projects must be balanced against the need for strategic focus.

One of our key roles in life is reconciling the apparent opposites of black and white, as we live in the gray between them: “Opposites attract” and “Birds of a feather, flock together”. The Holistic Startup is about innovating, not just the things around us, but how we live our lives. It’s about idealism and the practical issues of daily living. It’s about how we communicate with each other along the way.

The Holistic Startup points out that that there is an “I” in “TEAM”. Haven’t you seen it? It’s the “M” and the “E”. That spells “ME” and for as long as I can remember, I am me. It also recognizes that ‘no man is an island’ and our knowledge and skills are exponentialized through our network of peers.

When posed the age old question, “Is the glass half-empty or half-full?”, The Holistic Startup responds, “I see a whole glass, the glass itself, and am grateful for the integrity of this vessel and its potential to contain great variety.”

And finally, The Holistic Startup is about discovery! Let’s get started…

Jay

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