Photo by Roby Saltori
I was talking to Appletree recently and he said something that stuck. ‘These people aren’t even farmers, they’re just feudal’. These people being the government. They don’t understand the concept of cultivation, of planting something and letting it grow. This was in reference to the governments policy of choking the mobile sector with weeds like taxation, compulsory identification and banning GPS. Note that the latter effectively bans Sri Lankans from most modern phones on the pretense that terrorists are going to be running around with Blackberries. I’m not saying that terrorists (oooh, spooky) aren’t using GPS, but they’re getting that off the back of a boat via Singapore or in Pettah, not handing over their ID to a telco. Ye gods.
But back to the reference, which is more interesting. As I’ve begun working I’ve begun understanding business not as a matter of making correct decisions all the time, but more of having a good batting average. Making the best decisions you can, and then following through with full force, giving it a good swing. I see a lot of stuff try and fail and I see less stuff grow and the results often surprise me. So I’ve learned humility, and perseverance.
Which reminds me of a farmer. You plant some stuff in the ground and then work on it for months without seeing that much. But with hard work and faith something grows, inshallah. All the stuff I see the government here is short term, digging up the earth to pile it into castles of sand. I don’t see the investment, I don’t see the cultivation, and I don’t see the simple patience, wisdom and hard work. I see it in the private sector a bit more.