Tuesdays with a farmer - Instinct Vs Analysis - Part III

Farmer: The common school of thought we are all familiar with says that analysis is better than instinct. There is no evidence however to support this. Most of the businesses are done not out of instinct, but out of analysis. Therefore analysis is the only thing business know and can do well.

You can see this in any field. Those who are engineers would realize that some are born engineers and there are some who struggled and struggled and finally got through engineering. Despite their efforts, they didn't get what others had got. There are only few only who actually got  it.

Observe human transactions, you would realize this. Human transactions are the only transactions which have material intervention. You know when the lion jumps off the deer, it doesn't go to the nearest counter and swipe the card. It finishes the deer and the transaction is over. There is no counter to pay the money. For everything  humans do ,there is a material intervention and the material element is critical. Because it is critical, it is open to analysis. It can be analyzed. So there is a part of business which is more detailed and analyzed.  But there is a whole part of business that is not material. You can't analyze it. You would get that only if you have instinct. 

Unfortunately we have now begun to buy into the idea that you can analyze everything. You can analyze everything if you make some stupid assumption. All routes are similar. Consumers are in segments that we have defined. Several such stupid ideas have been bought by large majority of people. 

Understand that there is a material part that governs business. We would need to understand them as well, but to the extent that finally business is about people to people. That part which we don’t understand would come only if we are instinctive. And that instinct would come only if we have some feeling for that. Eventually if you do not connect with it deeply, you will not develop your instinct. 

If we can look at another metaphor, Analysis is  like an answer. But the question may not be right. It will give you the answer. But if you ask the wrong question, analysis cannot help you. Instinct answers the right question. It will ask you the right question so that that which follows, even though it may not be the optimal, is still the right answer. 

Look into your life deeply. You are instinctive about that part which you are connected deeply to. You know when your mother is angry even if she hasn’t said anything. But you really  don’t know what your consumer wants because you don’t give a shit about it.

Find out what is that you are amazingly passionate about. Anything. The good thing about this age is you can create a business out of anything. It is possible to create a revenue around almost anything that you like to do. And the likelihood that you would do well is higher in that than in the standard way because you will suddenly come up with something that a normal guy who would analyze the situation won’t be able to figure it out.