This 3 step method for successful tech startups came from a 18th century spiritual giant

Curiosity, Logic and Personal Relevance

Courtesy of Yaron Koler — gifted software engineer, friend and liver cancer survivor

If you are like me, you are intellectually curious and eager to improve in your personal, family and work dimensions. There is a lot of useful information online, from choosing mattresses to strengthening your upper back to learning Arabic. A lot of junk and darkness too which you need to ignore.

As a tech entrepreneur, I am curious about the process of taking an idea from gestation to implementation to wide-spread acceptance. A nephew, who is a very very smart boy and in his third year of chemical engineering recently asked me how how he can assess an idea he has for a startup. I told him:

If your idea helps you personally — then you have validated product-market fit for a market of 1. That is a lot more than all the programmers who do something because its cool.

One of the great spiritual leaders of the 18th century gave a 3 step process to go from curiosity to sustainable outcome.

  1. Chochma (inquiry) — Start with intellectual curiosity by imagining something and looking at the bigger picture.
  2. Bina (cognition) — By being logical and detail-oriented , you go on to examining your raw concept in detail
  3. Daa’s (recognition) — The crucial step to generating a real, sustainable outcome is recognition. Use your Daa’s by personalizing an idea, by understanding how relevant it is to you and your life experience.

That great spiritual leader is Shneur Zalman of Liadi.

Shneur Zalman of Liadi was an Orthodox rabbi and the founder and first Rebbe of Chabad, a branch of Hasidic Judaism, then based in Liadi in the Russian Empire. He was the author of many works, and the author of the Tanya. The Tanya is the main work of the Chabad philosophy and the Chabad approach to Hasidic mysticism,

I suppose you never would have thought that an 18th spiritual giant would have nailed the 3 steps to a successful tech startup. But he did.

Any successful tech startup passes through these 3 gates of curiosity, logic and being relevant to you and your life experience.

I am certain that this is also the secret behind Chabad today. The bright, enthusiastic young men and women who go on shlichut all over the world, from Katmandu to Kiryat Malachi are all startup entrepreneurs. The co-founders, husband and wife in their early 20’s start off with a little seed money, perhaps a few months or runway of a year at best. Then, they are on their own; developing an operation on their own to help, sustain, nurture and support Jews in their community in a warm, open and non-judgmental way.

And they do it because the Rebbe said they should.

If you are an entrepreneur, you don’t have to be a Chabadnik. You don’t have to be Jewish or Israeli. Just stay curious, logical and relevant at all times to yourself and your personal life experience.

My gratitude to Chaim Miller for this insight in his book The Practical Tanya.

I am a physicist by training, serious amateur musician and everyday biker. Working in cybersecurity and AI-driven monitoring of clinical trials.