Thus one should never knowingly speak a lie either for the sake of one’s advantage or for the sake of another person’s advantage or for the sake of any advantage what so everBuddha
Truthfulness – not saying that which is untrue
Entrepreneurship and early stages of a startup and scientific inquiry to a large extent is a truth game. The reason we rely on scientific inquiry and observation and experimentation is to weed out any opinions that stand on fragile ground. If you speak the truth you don’t have to remember anything remarked Mark Twain. I tell all the founders that this game of entrepreneurship or startup founding cannot stand on lies. If anyone in the system lie, then they are lying to themselves and there is no end to that path. People lie for a lot of reasons, the famous saying in Startup land is Fake it till you make it, the truth could not be farther from that. Lying is a great corrosive force. It corrodes trust in relationships, it corrodes trust in our society.
The pandemic has put a number of people’s credibility on display. I was reading the post by Paul Graham and saw the video of TV journalists linked in that post. The more I see the train wreck unravel through the media outlets the more I want to shut all the streams. I am unable to understand how can these people say whatever and get away with it. I am not sure why we are allowing this to happen all the time? I agree with Paul, how dare they? if we catch a child telling a lie, we chastise the child to speak the truth. How are we allowing people who bring news into our living rooms to blatantly lie? This system of lies have permeated into every aspect of our society all the way to the highest offices around the world. We have turned a blind eye to what some of these leaders say, that is because they seem to say some of the things we agree on. This is the slippery slope everyone keeps talking about. Lies cannot be accepted in public office. The easiest way to keep this regime of lies ongoing is to debunk those who are suppose to keep everyone honest, journalists and media. Let us invest in those who are bringing truth in front of us.
We allow some white lies, half truths and some story telling in advertising, movies and drama. We understand that this is escapism, when did we allow every aspect of our lives to be driven by showmanship and story telling? We need to Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting that is already happening. You read the post on Medium right? Did it resonate with you? it sure did for me. Here is a small excerpt if you did not read the post
The cat is out of the bag. We, as a nation, have deeply disturbing problems. You’re right. That’s not news. They are problems we ignore every day, not because we’re terrible people or because we don’t care about fixing them, but because we don’t have time. Sorry, we have other shit to do. The plain truth is that no matter our ethnicity, religion, gender, political party (the list goes on), nor even our socioeconomic status, as Americans we share this: We are busy. We’re out and about hustling to make our own lives work. We have goals to meet and meetings to attend and mortgages to pay — all while the phone is ringing and the laptop is pinging. And when we get home, Crate and Barrel and Louis Vuitton and Andy Cohen make us feel just good enough to get up the next day and do it all over again. It is very easy to close your eyes to a problem when you barely have enough time to close them to sleep. The greatest misconception among us, which causes deep and painful social and political tension every day in this country, is that we somehow don’t care about each other. White people don’t care about the problems of black America. Men don’t care about women’s rights. Cops don’t care about the communities they serve. Humans don’t care about the environment. These couldn’t be further from the truth. We do care. We just don’t have the time to do anything about it. Maybe that’s just me. But maybe it’s you, too.Julio Vincent Gambuto
Let us take the time or make the time to care and do something about this cancer that is spreading into everything we see and do. Let us not accept lies. Evolution has given us incredible intuition we know when someone is gas-lighting. Let us not look away and more importantly we should aspire to be truthful.
I have been social distancing and spending a lot of time looking at nature, meditation and taking long walks while listening to Joseph Goldstein’s talks on Abiding in Mindfulness – On Dhamma. A lot of people have been talking about using this time at home to learn. I have started my practice of learning about Buddhism and Mindfulness. I have been meditation for sometime now and I am going deeper into understanding what the Buddha asked all of us to practice and experiment with what is happening between our ears.
The Buddha broke everything down, I feel like He was first and foremost a scientist, he experimented on himself on all his recommendations. He clearly articulated and broke everything down into easy steps and tasks that everyone can follow to a path of awakening and to end suffering. I don’t want to go too deep into all aspects of His teachings but the Nobel 8 fold path has one which all of us can follow which is Right Speech. Right speech is no lying, no rude speech, no telling one person what another says about him to cause discord or harm their relationship. We need to heal and come together as a global community.
Bala – I always enjoy your posts. Consider this post relative to most start-ups and the expected “hockey stick” forecasts. Consider all the “counseling” the founders receive to “tell the big story” whether it’s really possible or not. Your comment about the slippery slope mantra of “fake it ’til you make it” is spot on. Ask any Silicon Valley startup founder how they’er doing and you’ll hear, “We’re killin’ it!” And one year later 90% of those companies are GONE. I named my company Alithias because alithia means “truth” (in Greek). I have always been 100% honest with my investors and in my forecasts. The company has grown every year and we’ve never had a down round. The company is not close to being a Unicorn, and is much more like a draft horse.
But 85% of the companies with whom I’ve pitched, all who received more cash at much higher valuations are GONE. And many of those still in business have been through enough down rounds that the initial investors will never make money. Investors don’t want the truth. They want “the story” and invest on the hope that it’s real. Until honesty is rewarded, expect more of the same.
Yes, the universe is not evenly distributed. I have met some great founders who have not raised any money but are building some of the greatest impact companies. I tell anyone who would listen that raising capital is important but it is not the most important thing. The simpler thought experiment to follow is to assume that you have all the money in the world in the bank what is the first thing you would do? and the next thing? and the next things? when you can list them down you realize very quickly that having money in the bank does not address any of those questions.