Two Languages: Social Entrepreneurs and the Business World – Ideas vs. Success

Two Languages: Social Entrepreneurs and the Business World – Ideas vs. Success

Jan-Niklas Franke

Praeludium
Sonnet 2020
Shall I compare a JV(1) with RoA(2)
Thou(3) part more roughly just to generate
Huge wins do shake the carving before May
And summer’s lease(4) hath(5) all too short a date.
KPI’s(6) don’t go the way of profit shines,
And often is the sold complexion slim,
And every share from share sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course now JIT(7).
So long as men(8) can breathe or eyes can see,
Will there be problems understanding business people or is it just me?

1: Joint Venture, 2: Return on Assets, 3: Shakespeare trying to spell “You”, 4: Shakespeare mentioning leasing in the 17th century (that’s what I call a first mover), 5: archaic version of “had”, 6: Key Performance Indicators, 7: Just in time, 8: Little bit of 17th century’s sexism.

Ever had problems understanding Shakespeare? And business people? So did I. That’s why I gave it a shot and mashed them up. The footnotes say it all, 4 for Shakespeare and 4 for business buzzwords.

Status Quo
Put yourself in the shoes of a social entrepreneur. You as an entrepreneur are wearing some nice white Espadrilles and have an amazing idea that could change the world. All you need is love and perhaps a tiny little, big chunk of money. So, what do you do?

You go get yourself some money from your home bank. The banker asks for profitability. Well, you think, “We do make a lot of revenues. A couple of thousands at least”. The banker does not seem to be satisfied. He asks for the exact amount of revenues and the period of time you are referring to. You say, you have like 8000 bugs right now which is 5000 more than what you had in January. He tells you there is nothing he can do for you.

Okay, you think, if you had ever given up that easily, then you would not be where you are at. You get yourself a fresh cup of Oat Milk Matcha Latte and all of a sudden a friend of yours comes to mind. Didn’t he mention some campaign sponsored by the EU that might subsidize your venture? You start googling and indeed, there is this program which seems to support your project. Great! Only need to download the form and complete it. It asks you to identify your KPI’s. You remember what you learned back in the days in college and identify “plastic cups not used” as one. Since this represents your main objective you proceed to the next step. It tells you that your venture needs a track record of a minimum of three years of profitability. You again remember that profitability is defined as revenues less costs. Thinking back, you realize that until now you have not made any profit with your company. “But is that important?”, you ask yourself. You are changing the world! Why would profitability matter?

Thinking more and more about it, you realize that you will probably not be able to do it for long if your business keeps on consuming as much money as it has lately. Consequently, you decide to streamline your company: you really like your colleagues and they are kind of a family for you. You do not know how to approach this even though you are more than convinced that you are doing the right thing.

Reactio Societatis
I know you are going to need a big shoe closet but put yourself in the shoes of the society. Let’s say the society is wearing some fancy sports sneakers. I know, this one is not as easy as the first one. I mean, it is the entire society and you lost your Espadrilles… But come on, you made it through the lovely poem mashup!

What would you (the society) want? Welfare. To be a bit more specific, you would want welfare today and in the future. So, what do you need to get what you want? Some concept providing welfare now and in the future; in other words: in a sustainable way. Looking at how you (the society) are currently doing in terms of sustainability, you have to acknowledge that there is room for improvement. You see yourself stuck in structures and habits, and processes that have been developed over time. What you need is disruption. “D-I-S-R-U-P-T-I-O-N” you type in the search field of your Amazon app but it would only give you some new Nike football shoes called “Disruption”. Well, that is not what you are looking for. You order them anyways since they look quite nice.

Since disruption does not seem to be something you can just order on Amazon you actually start thinking. You look down on your feet and see the fancy sports sneakers but for some reason, this Espadrilles-wearing entrepreneur comes to your mind. Wasn’t her business idea actually disruptive and game-changing? What was stopping her? It was you hindering her, wasn’t it? What made her ideas fail were societal structures: an unsatisfied banker, bureaucratic EU programs, and standardized KPIs. You kick some empty beer can that is lying on the streets. Now, there is a brown spot on your sneakers. You get angry and kick another beer can resulting in the second brown spot on your sneakers. The things you have established over decades keep you from moving to the right direction now. Fixed patterns and conventions soil your societal sports sneakers.

You realize change is needed even though it will take some time. Therefore, you decide to plant sustainability awareness in as many people’s minds as possible. But will that help your Espadrilles-wearing entrepreneur? Not really. People are different and always will be. But how can you connect them? Again, you look down to your feet and the white sneakers. What will connect you, the personification of society, with that entrepreneur. Well, you both have feet and wear shoes (if you consider Espadrilles shoes). So, there is something you have in common. What if you just got rid of these shoes? They are dirty anyways. So, you take them off and put them into your big shoe closet seeing all the other shoes: Some flip flops, the Espadrilles, and… the new Nike Disruption you ordered on Amazon. You think of trying them on for a second. You stop yourself.

Disruption, not distraction. That is what you want.

Looking at your shoe closet, you also realize: You can put on whatever shoes you want and be part of every part of society. Isn't that actually what you need right now? You need some people who can put on different kinds of shoes to achieve this disruption that you’ve put on top of the list of things you want to achieve.


Prudentia Potentia Est

One can conclude that what we need is these people who can combine two worlds. We need the people understanding Shakespeare and business buzzwords, wearing Espadrilles and Sneakers, and of course reading English and Latin. How else would you get what I want to tell you?
Society needs a long-term change. However, it does also need disruption, which is defined as

“disturbance that interrupts an event, activity or process”.

Alright, let us get this straight: What we are looking for is people who:

  1. Understand Shakespeare,
  2. Deal with business buzzwords,
  3. Wear Espadrilles
  4. But sometimes also sneakers,
  5. Speak English,
  6. Read Latin,
  7. And are ready to disrupt.

Seven, It’s always seven! 7 continents, 7 days, 7 holes in our heads, 7 horcruxes, I could continue forever.

Joking apart, society is in need of individuals who understand different people when they are talking; people who can translate when somebody wearing sneakers is trying to communicate with somebody wearing Espadrilles. We need people who have this ability and who are motivated to make use of it to both disrupt and develop at the same time.


Postludium
Sonnet 2021
Shall I compare you and me in any way?
We’re different but equal, joint but separate:
Rough winds do shake the structures today,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is our gold connection dimm’d,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance of nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in this shade,
When eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

Back To Blog
Jan-Niklas Franke

Praeludium
Sonnet 2020
Shall I compare a JV(1) with RoA(2)
Thou(3) part more roughly just to generate
Huge wins do shake the carving before May
And summer’s lease(4) hath(5) all too short a date.
KPI’s(6) don’t go the way of profit shines,
And often is the sold complexion slim,
And every share from share sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course now JIT(7).
So long as men(8) can breathe or eyes can see,
Will there be problems understanding business people or is it just me?

1: Joint Venture, 2: Return on Assets, 3: Shakespeare trying to spell “You”, 4: Shakespeare mentioning leasing in the 17th century (that’s what I call a first mover), 5: archaic version of “had”, 6: Key Performance Indicators, 7: Just in time, 8: Little bit of 17th century’s sexism.

Ever had problems understanding Shakespeare? And business people? So did I. That’s why I gave it a shot and mashed them up. The footnotes say it all, 4 for Shakespeare and 4 for business buzzwords.

Status Quo
Put yourself in the shoes of a social entrepreneur. You as an entrepreneur are wearing some nice white Espadrilles and have an amazing idea that could change the world. All you need is love and perhaps a tiny little, big chunk of money. So, what do you do?

You go get yourself some money from your home bank. The banker asks for profitability. Well, you think, “We do make a lot of revenues. A couple of thousands at least”. The banker does not seem to be satisfied. He asks for the exact amount of revenues and the period of time you are referring to. You say, you have like 8000 bugs right now which is 5000 more than what you had in January. He tells you there is nothing he can do for you.

Okay, you think, if you had ever given up that easily, then you would not be where you are at. You get yourself a fresh cup of Oat Milk Matcha Latte and all of a sudden a friend of yours comes to mind. Didn’t he mention some campaign sponsored by the EU that might subsidize your venture? You start googling and indeed, there is this program which seems to support your project. Great! Only need to download the form and complete it. It asks you to identify your KPI’s. You remember what you learned back in the days in college and identify “plastic cups not used” as one. Since this represents your main objective you proceed to the next step. It tells you that your venture needs a track record of a minimum of three years of profitability. You again remember that profitability is defined as revenues less costs. Thinking back, you realize that until now you have not made any profit with your company. “But is that important?”, you ask yourself. You are changing the world! Why would profitability matter?

Thinking more and more about it, you realize that you will probably not be able to do it for long if your business keeps on consuming as much money as it has lately. Consequently, you decide to streamline your company: you really like your colleagues and they are kind of a family for you. You do not know how to approach this even though you are more than convinced that you are doing the right thing.

Reactio Societatis
I know you are going to need a big shoe closet but put yourself in the shoes of the society. Let’s say the society is wearing some fancy sports sneakers. I know, this one is not as easy as the first one. I mean, it is the entire society and you lost your Espadrilles… But come on, you made it through the lovely poem mashup!

What would you (the society) want? Welfare. To be a bit more specific, you would want welfare today and in the future. So, what do you need to get what you want? Some concept providing welfare now and in the future; in other words: in a sustainable way. Looking at how you (the society) are currently doing in terms of sustainability, you have to acknowledge that there is room for improvement. You see yourself stuck in structures and habits, and processes that have been developed over time. What you need is disruption. “D-I-S-R-U-P-T-I-O-N” you type in the search field of your Amazon app but it would only give you some new Nike football shoes called “Disruption”. Well, that is not what you are looking for. You order them anyways since they look quite nice.

Since disruption does not seem to be something you can just order on Amazon you actually start thinking. You look down on your feet and see the fancy sports sneakers but for some reason, this Espadrilles-wearing entrepreneur comes to your mind. Wasn’t her business idea actually disruptive and game-changing? What was stopping her? It was you hindering her, wasn’t it? What made her ideas fail were societal structures: an unsatisfied banker, bureaucratic EU programs, and standardized KPIs. You kick some empty beer can that is lying on the streets. Now, there is a brown spot on your sneakers. You get angry and kick another beer can resulting in the second brown spot on your sneakers. The things you have established over decades keep you from moving to the right direction now. Fixed patterns and conventions soil your societal sports sneakers.

You realize change is needed even though it will take some time. Therefore, you decide to plant sustainability awareness in as many people’s minds as possible. But will that help your Espadrilles-wearing entrepreneur? Not really. People are different and always will be. But how can you connect them? Again, you look down to your feet and the white sneakers. What will connect you, the personification of society, with that entrepreneur. Well, you both have feet and wear shoes (if you consider Espadrilles shoes). So, there is something you have in common. What if you just got rid of these shoes? They are dirty anyways. So, you take them off and put them into your big shoe closet seeing all the other shoes: Some flip flops, the Espadrilles, and… the new Nike Disruption you ordered on Amazon. You think of trying them on for a second. You stop yourself.

Disruption, not distraction. That is what you want.

Looking at your shoe closet, you also realize: You can put on whatever shoes you want and be part of every part of society. Isn't that actually what you need right now? You need some people who can put on different kinds of shoes to achieve this disruption that you’ve put on top of the list of things you want to achieve.


Prudentia Potentia Est

One can conclude that what we need is these people who can combine two worlds. We need the people understanding Shakespeare and business buzzwords, wearing Espadrilles and Sneakers, and of course reading English and Latin. How else would you get what I want to tell you?
Society needs a long-term change. However, it does also need disruption, which is defined as

“disturbance that interrupts an event, activity or process”.

Alright, let us get this straight: What we are looking for is people who:

  1. Understand Shakespeare,
  2. Deal with business buzzwords,
  3. Wear Espadrilles
  4. But sometimes also sneakers,
  5. Speak English,
  6. Read Latin,
  7. And are ready to disrupt.

Seven, It’s always seven! 7 continents, 7 days, 7 holes in our heads, 7 horcruxes, I could continue forever.

Joking apart, society is in need of individuals who understand different people when they are talking; people who can translate when somebody wearing sneakers is trying to communicate with somebody wearing Espadrilles. We need people who have this ability and who are motivated to make use of it to both disrupt and develop at the same time.


Postludium
Sonnet 2021
Shall I compare you and me in any way?
We’re different but equal, joint but separate:
Rough winds do shake the structures today,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is our gold connection dimm’d,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance of nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in this shade,
When eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

Back To Blog