At the Saxon court, the alchemist Johann Friedrich Boettger failed to obtain gold, but was the first in Europe to make white porcelain. This is an excerpt from Wikipedia that illustrates an important point. Some consider alchemy a pseudoscience, thus showing ingratitude, for they forget that modern chemistry was “hatched” from it. We do not always get what we expect from life. But if we sincerely immerse ourselves in the search process, we will certainly not be left empty-handed.
I use this insight, particularly in business therapy when a breaking storm throws tech founders onto an unfamiliar shore and they’re stumped on what to do. The usual straightforward progression toward a detailed goal must be forgotten. Instead, it requires diving into the orderly chaos of the research process. This does not mean that there is no goal. It simply has a longer horizon, and instead of the precision of the second decimal point, it looks more like a symbol, a state or an outline. By disconnecting from rigid forms of where, when and how, the founder gains more degrees of freedom. Each contact with reality takes on a special meaning, enriching the founder with new knowledge, regardless of the outcome. With this mindset, it is impossible to lose. But there are unexpected gains to be made, for sure.
Novelty is ambivalent in nature, but usually we tend to see it only as discomfort, danger, and evil. Especially when it comes upon us suddenly and against our will. However, novelty also has a benevolent side, which is revealed to those who a) trust it, b) understand the specifics of the R&D process, and c) are willing to dive headlong into it.
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As a business therapist, I help tech founders quickly solve dilemmas at the intersection of business and personality, and boost company value as a result.