apply the laws of physics
by amir gal-or
is there a connection between the laws of physics and the rules that govern business? yes? no? i say yes. i believe there is a common denominator that links the two worlds. what they share is a wider way of thinking which applies to both nature as well as to human behavior.
take the balance of power as an example. in physics we are all familiar with the laws of balance: what goes up must come down; e = mc2, the equation of mass-energy equivalence; and the modern physics concept that there is no such thing as "nothing." even in a perfect vacuum, pairs of virtual particles are constantly being created and destroyed. now, let’s apply this to business. if the laws of balance are broken, for example, a company grows too fast, or securing a major deal leads the higher ups to believe that some sort of magic or special powers were in play, one should anticipate a correction of sorts, or at least the attempt at one. extraordinary behavior or activity attracts the attention of forces which will thereafter seek to restore the state of balance, for better or for worse.
if your goal is to start or accelerate your business on a powerful and promising path, it is highly recommended to connect with an external driving force. this is true of nature and business. if you are on the path of market growth or a seeing a shift in regulation, then indeed it is a good idea to take advantage and ride that wave as far as possible. however, if you are not on this path, then you risk the possibility of ‘drying up’. for example, take the smart phone trend. it killed so many businesses while simultaneously lifting others. those who survived or flourished were successful because they successfully identified a shift, took it seriously and rode the wave.
back to the laws of physics - what happens when a solid is transformed into gas? the answer: energy is released. now let’s apply this concept to business. a great example of ‘energy release’ is the social networking pandemonium, which created a huge energy path. there was always a hidden need for this, but until recently very few leaders knew how to strategically and successfully unlock this energy source and ride the wave created to a new reality, buzzing with energy and potential.
in early 2006 i was sitting in a discussion with the ceos of some of the largest companies - hp, microsoft, yahoo, etc. the topic was "what is the next wave"? in retrospect, it is interesting that social networking was not even mentioned. well hindsight is 20/20. and, we all know very well now just how the social media wave has changed and continues to change industries, some even on a daily basis. the e-commerce world was dramatically impacted and so too was the gaming industry, where some companies went up and others went down. it was an unexpected ride.
satellites circle the earth just like the earth circles the sun. again, this same concept applies to business. if you do not want to fall into the grasp of the larger players then you must move quickly around them. this is exactly why smaller companies need to move faster than the larger ones while maintaining their space – not too close but also not too far. if you act exactly like them then you’ll crash straight into them. if you are trying to move too far away in an effort to be completely unique, then you may find yourself without a market and simply disappear into "space". this is why so many affiliate partners of companies like microsoft, apple and checkpoint are able to successfully use the platform provided by the larger companies and make money while at the same time keeping their distance – maintaining proximity, but never getting too close.
a final thought: small particles roam freely in empty places. however, in crowded spaces, the movement of small particles is retarded. they lose energy and can hardly move. think of it this way, there’s not much going on under the surface of the dead sea, dense with a high concentration of salt. however, there’s a lively and colorful world in full bloom underneath the great blue sea. once again, the laws of physics may be applied to business. it is best to avoid areas that are overcrowded and stifling and to instead seek out market environments where you’ll be able to glide, at least with some degree of freedom, through a colorful world rich with opportunity.