Saturday, March 7, 2015

An ant has no quarrel with a boot

Since the last post i understood something. It is not always easy to wear your winner's hat. It's practically impossible. I have endured some tough days lately. But i have found out that it is ok to wear your neutral hat instead.

I have also been pretty tired and full of assignments so in my free time i end up sleeping, cooking or playing some Guild Wars 2 with my friends.

My favorite course ended. Entrepreneurship. I don't know if it is sad that the course i enjoyed the most so far in this master's is from a completely different faculty. Anyways in the last session we ended up having a discussion about a case. A successful UK company wanted to expand internationally and more specifically target the US market. They wanted to diversify and we had to choose from 2 ideas.

1) Make some new cancer diagnose equipment
2) Invest in the plasma lamp industry

80% of the class including me decided to go for the plasma lamp, because it offered less risks, low investment, was a good industry and it looked profitable. The other one was interesting too but they had to battle a few colossus like General Electric.

As the case unfolded and a certain individual managed to make me laugh and look at her with confusion and understand that some people are just not your type or not the person you want to be, i had an epiphany. I told nobody but i wanted to change sides and go to the medical equipment side.

You see, there was a drawback with the plasma lamp. Something that every potential entrepreneur, or intrapreneur must consider. You need a license, or a patent for your idea. And if even the simplest thing is being controlled or involves a behemoth like in this case 3M you are done. If your product is innovative you are most likely done, because they will crush you. They have the power. They can influence laws, politicians, the industry itself, the trends, the future.

I had a flashback on the Avengers movie. "An ant has no quarrel with a boot". See our plasma lamps here are the ant and 3M is the boot. So that is one thing to take into consideration when you get in a business or you want to materialize an idea.

Part number 2 then. I read about Fernando Alonso, the famous F1 driver suffering a serious injury in a crash recently. When the doctors asked him who he is or what is his job, he said that he is a kart driver that wants to become a formula 1 driver sometime in the future. Boom, suddenly he was back in 1995, the last time he drove a cart. He forgot he drives for mercedes or his 2 world titles.

Which brings me to my next question. During that memory loss, i wonder how he felt when he learned that he had more than achieved his dream of becoming an F1 driver. That he was contracted by the biggest names in the industry and won two world titles with them.

Imagine yourself 10 years ago. Maybe 15. I am 26 now so that would make me 10 years old back then. How would you rate yourself now? Did you achieve what you wanted? Did you change your mind or get lost along the way? Was it something childish or did you pursue it with passion and determination?

I for one have changed a lot during the decades. I remember i was courted to be a doctor or a lawyer by my father for a long time. I almost believed him or i lied that i would become one. It was disgusting. I never wanted to be anything like that. He only told me that only money is worth and that i would have a job where i would sit, look at a few smelly old patients that would give me money and then i would tax evade like everyone and have a huge house and a fancy car. Well you know what, fuck that shit. I remember writing a school essay in 6th grade. I wanted to become a scientist and help people, do research, make a difference. So i guess i have achieved that, i am now an environmental scientist going on to become a specialized engineer in water resources.

I also remember the pressure and the strength i had to find to endure a lot of things at home and at school. I remember another very short paragraph that we had to write. That period i was so engrossed in football that i wanted to become a footballer. We were also supposed to write why we wanted to do that and why not. I wrote that i did not want to become one because i "could break a leg or something". That was a god damn blatant lie. Because i wanted to write that nobody would approve and i was being influenced. And then my teacher told my mom she was disappointed at me and my selection. How embarrassing that felt. Always with a massive weight of expectation just because you are a good student. Do not become what your parents want. Become what you want. If you want to take over the family business and your interests align with theirs then that is great. But do not become miserable just to justify a parent's ego just because they think they know better than you.

It's just the unconscious emotion that makes them turn you into what they could never become and shape you in their own way. Suggestions are great, don't get me wrong. Of course telling your kid that a medical career or lawyer or scientist is a good one where people respect you and you earn a lot of money. But what if you suck at maths or physics? What if you are a natural for history or philosophy? Why let that go to waste to do something that you might never achieve or be unhappy for life?

So in that sense i became what i wanted back then. I had other dreams, like robotics or nanobiology. But i was also a realist and found out that i was better at other things. Things that also intrigued me while they also set me up for a nice career.

But while i managed to escape from that poisonous influence i was intoxicated with there are other things i am just shaking off for the past year. The army obligation is done. Reshuffling my friends is done and only those who are worthy remain and shall remain. I am doing well in my masters. I have someone very special to care for. But my complete independence remains to be conquered and this makes the next 12 months even more crucial. But as i always said, never back down. It is your obligation to stand up when you get knocked down.

With that it is time to go to bed again. I will leave you with a sunny picture of my neighborhood. We are enjoying a great week here. Until next time...

Goodnight Sweden

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