We find out where conditions are the worst, the places where others are not going, and that’s where we want to be.
– Medicins Sans Frontieres
Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be eaten. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It does not matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running.
– Paraphrased from Christopher McDougall, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superatheletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Why Innovation Footprints?
According to goafrica.about.com:
The San are considered to be the oldest culture in the world dating back over a hundred thousand years. Beautiful San rock art can be seen throughout Southern Africa where the San lived as hunter-gatherers. In the past 2000 years the San were slowly pushed to live in the arid sands of the Kalahari Desert by Bantu tribes and white farmers who took the more fertile land for their crops and livestock.
They are a hunter-gathering society that lives in one of the world’s most inhospitable habitats. Their skill as animal trackers is unparalleled, and derives from their practice of keen observation of their surroundings, the animals that they hunt for food and the predators they must avoid. They hunt with bows and arrows, and cudgels. San hunting excursions can last many days; requiring stamina, endurance, resilience, patience and team work.
They live in small, tightly-knit nomadic foraging family units. San society is organized on relatively egalitarian terms, with most decisions being made by consensus, even though they have titular chiefs.
The name Innovation Footprints is inspired by the way of life of the San. This blog seeks mostly to study the lessons that have already been learned by entrepreneurs, startups, and venture capital investors around the world, and then applying those lessons from the past to the situations I encounter in the future. Doing that requires that I embrace my inner hunter-gatherer of knowledge and information, in a way that withstands the vicissitudes of time.