Wisdom and Heritage

I had a great call with a founding team yesterday. As they put it, it was like “speaking with a friend” rather than a pitch meeting.

They were 3rd generation farmers. I asked what insights they had that the first generation farmer might not. They stumbled at first, the topic came up so fast that they were probably more ready to answer about their CAC than they were to answer about their heritage.

However, as the conversation progressed, it was clear that the insights they understood were about “Why” yield was important to the farmer. And “Why” specific bits of data were chosen to be a part of the system. Their experience and heritage gave them wisdom with roots. They had clear unique insights as to how the market worked and how a farm farmed.

It reminds me of Richard Feynman’s book “Surely You’re Joking Mr.Feynman” where he describes all the students in his class memorizing vs. learning. I believe he phrased it “It surprised me how fragile their knowledge was.” In this case I’m not referring to the founding team, I’m referring to those who figure out how to talk the talk, but don’t fundamentally know why they need to walk the walk.

I believe the problem with modern business school is that they teach students what levers to pull in business, but experience and heritage (which is just family experience) teaches you why you pull them.

I’m always thankful for random conversations of value. Founders are great.