Saturday 19 June 2010

What are the fundamentals?

The other day, I was talking to a writer, and he says to me "What are the fundamentals?" Now, he is a wise man, and he knows, but what he was asking me was important. He went on to say "How do you tell the youth out there what the fundaments are?" We have all heard this many times "Stick to the fundamentals" but how do you explain it to a youngster if he/she asks you "But what are the fundamentals?" Read on.

Everything I do in the world I do from my heart. I don't always succeed and I have made many mistakes. I do things based on the fundamentals; I am trying to create and build things that are worthwhile, not exploit some legal loopholes. Today, so many of our youth aspire to be get-rich-quick moguls, and they embrace "financial engineering".

This is a big problem, in my view, in the world; people think that if they don’t break the law, and exploit some loophole, and make money, then that is all ok. Now, I am not saying that is wrong to want to make money, and I am not judging anyone here, but personally, I don't feel any sense of pride by making money by exploiting people's ignorance. Sure, it is wonderful to make money, but have you ever spoken to a rich guy that made a billion bucks in one year, just like that. Ask them about their customers, and ask them about the products they developed - they won't be able to answer you. In fact, they will look at you with contempt, like you are a fool or something, for wanting to bust your balls with things like customers and products. They will say "I saw a gap and I went for it." Spotting a gap in the market and a gap in the law are two different things.

Seriously, didn't it used to be about doing something inspired, something with purpose, something that makes a difference. Wasn't this what the American Dream was all about. Taking advantage of a loophole or of people's lack of knowledge, and profiting from that, is a pretty sad state of affairs. But, a lot of people make a lot of money like this, and so many people aspire to this kind of shallow and unspiritual work activity. So, perhaps I am a fool, but perhaps also, I like talking about products, and customers, and about my friends at work. And if this bores our get-rich-quick moguls, well, I am sorry.

If, for example, our new venture, fails, then I will know in my heart that we worked hard, and took a risk, and just didn't have the luck we needed (but I don't believe it will fail - I am feeling very lucky of late). But if a financial engineer fails, they simply jump onto the next scheme and the bandwagon continues. Because when the fundamentals are not in play there really are no foundations, and jumping around, like a flea in a dog show, is becoming more and more acceptable.

So, in case you were wondering what these fundamentals are, here is a hint:

The 10 commandments :

ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image - any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'

THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'

FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'

FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.'

SIX: 'You shall not murder.'

SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'

EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'

NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'

TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'

Posted by Ronnie Apteker