This is part of my Series on Entrepreneurial Culture.
It occurred to me recently that when you find yourself around folks that take great care to cultivate the particular ecosystem in which they dwell, the environment is always uplifting and enriching. A recent venture event I attended of this kind brought to mind that great character, Dersu Uzala, who Kurosawa immortalized in one of my favorite films of the same name. So as to set the stage for my main point, I’ll recall now one of the early scenes from memory, so forgive me if I omit some details.
On a freezing cold night in the Siberian forest a group of Russian soldiers are suddenly joined by a mysterious Nanai tribesman as they sit warming themselves around a fire. He seems ancient and does not greet them as they sit in stunned silence watching him as he slowly lights his pipe. After some minutes he breaks the charged silence and strikes up a conversation with them. It turns out that this is the beginning of their remarkable adventure with this nomadic tiger hunter who serves as their guide through the wilderness. The men soon learn that wherever he goes he is looking out not just for himself, but for those around him and who might come after him. Twice he saves the lives of Captain Arseniev and his men by virtue of his great experience and wisdom and in one scene they watch with fascination as he leaves some food behind in a remote shelter for anyone that might stumble there after their departure.
The Russian soldiers never forget Dersu. If you’re able to rent the film from Netflix, I doubt that you will forget him either. Let me know what you think.
We who make our livings in the world of start-ups also dwell in our own precious ecosystem comprised of entrepreneurs, investors, advisors, inventors and technologists. It seems to me that how we tend to it and how we treat each other along the way will be the ultimate measure of how much we can achieve.