Yesterday night, I found myself absorbed in Christopher Nolan's narrative of "The Prestige." The movie's labyrinthine plot mirrored my own journey as an entrepreneur, filled with multifaceted themes, complexities, and intriguing parallels to the paths we tread in our ventures.
The Juxtaposition of Roles
"The Prestige," at its core, is a saga of two dueling magicians, each embodying a duality that is strikingly reminiscent of the entrepreneurial journey. The "founder's paradox," a concept articulated by Peter Thiel, comes to mind. Thiel posits that a founder is an amalgamation of contrasts – a visionary and a pragmatist, a savior and a saboteur. This existential duality, akin to the conundrum in Borges' "Borges y yo," resonates profoundly within my entrepreneurial spirit. As their obsession deepens, the film paints a vivid picture of identity, a theme that resonates deeply with me. Our lives, much like those of Spiderman, Batman, or The Joker, are often an exercise in duality.
The Art of Perception and Igniting Inspiration
The film delves into the magic of perception, of creating illusions that momentarily suspend disbelief. As entrepreneurs, we shape perceptions, kindle inspiration, and open up new vistas of possibilities for our customers through the transformative power of our products.
The Unsung Symphony of Effort
Cutter, a character in the movie, illuminates that the appeal of a magic trick isn't merely in its spectacle, but in the unseen, painstaking craftsmanship that underpins it. Similarly, the authentic magic of entrepreneurship isn't just in the final product but in the unheralded dedication that drives its creation. The great devotions. It's in the quiet hours of toil, in the sacrifices made, and in the commitment to the duty even when no one is watching. Planning is crucial, but it pales in comparison to the hard work in the theater.
Philosophical Undertones of Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship, much like the film, is not just about the physical journey; it also navigates through the profound waters of philosophy. Stoicism provides a shield of resilience and acceptance, essential armor for the tempestuous voyage. Courage, Justice, Wisdom, Moderation. Existentialism, on the other hand, inspires the empowering revelation that our identities are sculpted by our actions, not labels, echoing Nietzsche's insightful words: “The doer is merely a fictitious addition to the doing; the doing is all.” The simplicity of looking for and not overcomplicating problems. The duty for the duty itself.
Human Action and Austrian Economics
The magicians in "The Prestige", driven by their relentless ambition to outperform each other, offer a stark representation of 'Human Action,' a central concept of Ludwig von Mises' Austrian economics. Mises posits that human action is purposeful behavior, spurred by individual desires and objectives, a belief that is inherently intertwined with entrepreneurship.
Innovation throbs in the heart of "The Prestige" and mirrors the spirit that fuels entrepreneurship. Our relentless quest to build unique solutions echoes the competition between the movie's protagonists to design an unparalleled magic trick. Its also interesting how Nolan includes the war of the currents in the movie. It shows the efficiency of the US market that is extremely correlated with the philosophies mentioned here.
The Unquantifiable Essence of Love
Amid the movie's complex narrative, an unassuming theme subtly shines through - love. Unfeigned, deep, immeasurable love. It's a feeling that transcends quantification, a passion that drives our entrepreneurial journey, reflecting Nietzsche's "Amor Fati" - a love for one's fate, embracing life in all its victories and defeats. Definetely not being cold and timid.
The Weight of Authenticity and Continuous Learning
"The Prestige" underscores the significance of authenticity, a notion crucial to the realm of entrepreneurship. Genuine brands and products resonate with consumers. Coupled with a mindset that encourages continuous learning, iteration, and improvement, authenticity paves the way for genuine progress. Aunthenticity comes with looking for the truth, overcoming ego and embracing obstacles.
The Awareness of Mortality
Finally, the film, echoing Catholicism, underscores the awareness of mortality, serving as a potent reminder of life's fleeting nature. Drawing from Marcus Aurelius' stoic wisdom, this awareness shouldn't cripple us but spur us to act purposefully, to make every moment count. Memento Mori. It is terrifying how the two identities die the same way as their spouses. Im still trying to figure that one out. It makes u reflect in the sacrifice and it also gives utility to faith in the business world.
The entrepreneurial journey is an intricate tapestry woven with paradoxes, challenges, triumphs, and revelations. It is about acknowledging our dual roles, igniting wonder, acting decisively, embracing our fate, and upholding authenticity. It isn't mere philosophical rumination but practical wisdom for our entrepreneurial sojourn.
We are the magicians of our ventures, infusing the ordinary with the extraordinary, driven by genuine love for what we do, and dedicated to perpetual refinement. Our journey mirrors the layered narrative of "The Prestige", one that is as challenging, fulfilling, and profoundly human.