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The Games We Play
2 min read

The Games We Play


We are all playing games - and multiples games at once.

There are small games, and big ones and we win in some and can't afford to lose in others.

If you really think about it, every system we create or adhere to, is a game. It has a set of rules, some incentives to adhere to it, penalties for breaking the rules and there is a currency / point system for playing the best game.

From that point of view, the game of economics - where the points are cash in hand, is one of the biggest. We play games in our workplace, where there are appraisals and a salary that incentivizes us to do what the org requires of us. There are plenty of games that society makes us play too.

Once you realize this, you will start realizing the games that are played all around us - and even the ones we are a part of.

As an entrepreneur there are several ways, we leverage these games and there are categories of people.

  1. There are those who create new games (sometimes literally so)
  2. There are some who figure out the games, and tell others who want to know
  3. There are those who teach the rules of the game
  4. There are those who play
  5. there are those who are oblivious to the games being played around them

In all these games there are forces that work with different sets of ideologies.

  • One believes that anyone should win (whether they played the game right or not)
  • There are those who believe merit is everything (and learning how to play the game well is the ultimate advantage)
  • and there are those who believe in using leverage to shift the tides in their favor

Motivations and drive might fade. Processes might change, but systems last a long time. As entrepreneurs - especially as those whose focus is on building remarkable startups - the goal is to build a system that lasts. And it helps to know the various ancillary systems around it and the forces at work, so that you get to factor them in.

A system that doesn't have an ecosystem around it, doesn't capture its full potential. One of the questions we keep asking in the startup ecosystem is as to when we would see the first startup that gets to a $bn in revenue (not valuation). Truth is, for every $1 of product sold, there is 10-15$ of value to be unlocked in the ecosystem around it. And it is only companies who understand that and unlock that ecosystem game, that get there.

That's a playbook that is yet to be written for the Indian ecosystem still.

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