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The prime value in business

The existence of mythical and powerful objects has always obsessed mankind. The ark of the covenant, the holy Grial, the Nibelungen ring. But for me, the object I would like to possess the most is the lamp of Diógenes.

Alexander the great, who many consider the greatest leader and conqueror of all time, got wind of a man, a simple vagabond at Athenas that roamed their streets with a lamp.

It was said that this man, Diógenes, walked with his lamp in front of him, which allowed him to find a just man.

Alexander wanted to meet him, so he presented before him, powerful and magnanimus, with a great army at his side.

  • What is thy desire, Diógenes of Sinope? for I, Alexander, shall give it to you.
  • The sun.
  • My might and reach are great, but that I cannot give.
  • But you can, if you would only step aside, you are blocking it.

Alexander men laughed, but not him, for he understood the message.

Many times men (and I say “men” at the most classical way of saying “humankind”, refrain yourself from assigning me the “misogynistic” connotation, for there is nothing I despise more) insist in complicating and battling unrelentlessly for that which we desire, losing from sight that everything can be evermore simple. It is my belief that this applies in life, but also in business.

Did Diógenes ever found his righteous man? What would’ve he valued today of a business? What simple fact would’ve given him what he desired the most

In a business proposal, there are a thousand variables that the customer can wish and value

I leave here just some of them:

  • A coherent price with the value the client gets (for its business, not for you or your company)
  • A presentation quality feasible in a period congruent to the proposal benefit, maybe with a little extra, without falling into an excess nor neglect.
  • A technical depth that make the client feel safe. Do not worry too much if a client “will get it” or not, just divide topics accordingly, develop them without fear and present them without being boring.
  • Communicate the experience and pedigree of your team, without overstating nor downgrading, expressing what IS, and bringing to attention the details that you know (because we should at least a little, know the customer) will be appreciated.

With the decade I have at my back as an entrepreneur, without being the most expert nor the most newbie, I would like to know what is the most valuable asset at business.

I’ve developed entire methodologies to create business proposals, workflows to create technology, techniques and strategies to develop a team of engineers, and although not everything has been a failure, the pile of setbacks has acquired a significant volume, and those of hits (or the so infamous adjective of “successes”) it is yet modest, but important.

And analyzing both, setbacks and successes, I think that probably, like Alexander the great, I was just covering the sun, for there is just one element, simple and elegant, that is constant in every bullseye I’ve had: congruence.

As if it were a symphony, the harmony in business cannot be obtained with a single instrument, but with all of them connecting and waving a single, congruente line from start to finish.

From thinking if a client is really for us, or us for them, if the visual quality is worth the effort, if the price it’s to their business and if the technique is to their capacity and objective.

As well aligned dominoes, one will push the other one until the end, to the anticipated and exciting moment at which the client says (in written, please) YES.

We are suppliers of our customers, but in turn, they are to us, for congruence travels both ways.

Believe me if I say that really congruent projects and businesses do exist, where our capacity are exactly what the client wanted, where their understanding and assessment are precise for us, and that the final result is so wise that the it is but a pleasure and joy for the final user to obtain it.

It has been a long journey, but it has bear fruit, for today at Inflexion we can say that every project we operate is congruent with us, and us with them.

It is clear that we must keep learning and discovering, but it is congruence, the contraposition of two ideas without contradicting themself, one of the “mythical concepts” that we have at the highest pedestal in our mission.

Meanwhile, I keep looking with my lamp an honest man, just as hobby, and in business I look unrelentlessly that me as well as my team, with that same lamp, find businesses congruent to improve ourselves each day, and of course, in both giving and receive payment, the joyfulness for doing it transpires.

Software Engineer and psychologist, founder and CEO of Inflexion Software.

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