Climate is both an enabler and disruptor of human endeavors. Nature balances the population it supports. Technology enables increased rate of energy extraction from environment to further human purposes.
Conducive climate results in bountiful yield and has allowed Rome to rise. Land is cleared and trade networks flourish during the rise of the empire. Clearance of wild lands unlocked microbes into the human civilization.
Microbes evolve to utilize humans and other mammals as vectors of infection. Dense population and connected trading network serve as a multiplier. The worst pandemic is the white pestilence (Black Death). This wiped out more than half of human population.
Trading network collapse as a result of the decimated population. Military rank diminishes both as a result of population decimation. Problem is further compounded by collapse of financial system which makes it difficult to sustain an army.
Grounds are fertile for spread of monotheistic dooms day religion like Christianity. Emperor Justinian converts to Christianity. Classical Greek school of thoughts gets displaced.
Climate change for the worse force nomads with superior military power to migrate westwards into Roman territory.
Roman Empire with decimated population gets further crippled.
An organization that is under-resourced is similar to an individual who regularly practices intermittent fasting.
In the case of the individual, weaker cells are cannibalized by the body to produce new cells. Studies has shown decreased probability of developing cancer and Alzheimer, coupled in some cases with increased longevity.
In the case of the organization, operations are forced to be focused and only opportunities backed by stronger market signals prioritized and pursued. Wastage and distractions are structurally curtailed. ROI improves as a by product.
On organic growth
An organization that is organically grown tends to be happen-chance and exhibit somewhat illegible and opaque structure.
In contrast, an organization that is deliberately designed tends to exhibit a legible and transparent structure.
Counter intuitively, it is the former that exhibits more resilience in times of environmental stress. The observed illegibility and opaqueness is attributed to the process of organic adaption to its environment. Chief historical examples are:
The Youth is hungry for opportunity to advance in life
The Youth is highly optimistic and have faith in their prime minister
Shifting away from a tribal centric identity to a nation identity is the key challenge for the country. Tribal warfare was observed in Matema region.
One belt one road initiative has thus far rebuilt 85% of all major highways
significant levels of Chinese operated construction observed in Addis Ababa where Chinese occupy the management layer while the locals occupy the manual layer.
Significant levels of new housing construction in villages by locals. Projects are facilitated by ease of material transport due to improved road conditions.
At the moment of writing, Chinese built daily train is in operation from Addis Ababa to Djibouti. Chinese management is in process of doing knowledge transfer to local with the intention of handing eventual management.
On nature and agriculture
mixed of highland and grassland terrain
lowlands are utilized for the cultivation of wheat, corn and coffee
highlands are utilized for the cultivation of potato and barley
Ethiopia’s own version of Uber was launched earlier this year.
Country-wide established 3G networks has been observed
Majority of people were seen using Android mobile phones like Samsung and Huawei.
Tenco is a locally manufactured Android phone ran by Chinese management. Typical phone sells for USD50.
On foreign relations with China
China is the largest trading partner where food is the main export.
China’s one belt one road initiative in Ethiopia aims to increase supplies of raw materials available to the middle class rich in China by building up critical infrastructure like roads and manufacturing facilities to increase overall throughput volume from this agriculturally fertile region.
The approach is to utilize Chinese capital, Chinese management expertise and operations technique gained from the rebuilding of their economy, local raw materials and local human labor.
Where maintenance is required knowledge transfer occurs. This serves to help conserve Chinese human capital as they further their initiative across the region.
The observed build up of educated youth will likely help facilitate the necessary knowledge to ensure infrastructure gets maintained beyond the time period of the initiative.
An individual in an organization is similar to a cell in an organism.
The earlier the stage in the life cycle, the more generic and diverse the basic unit is. Founders and stem cells.
As maturity occurs, the basic unit becomes more specialized and in some cases loses ability that units in earlier stages had but is more adapted to performing its tasks. Stem cells can become bone cells but bone cells cannot become stem cells.
It is important to keep in mind that every organization and organism has a inherent DNA that will inevitably express itself.
Micheal Porter states an organization should not measure its success by its size but by how fit it’s configuration is in terms of serving its purpose. Charles Darwin’s survival of the fittest posits that the organism most suited for its environment will be the one that flourishes in that environment. In none of these two statements were there mention of size as an advantage.
Regarding cells and individuals, there comes a time in the life cycle of the organism/organization when the cell dies off and the individual departs.
A purely functional approach to solving a user problem tends to lead to an overall disjointed user experience. A purely experiential approach to solving a user problem tends to lead to an unruly infrastructure that becomes harder and harder to maintain overtime.
The discipline is to explore the different alternatives to tease out the intersection that best satisfies form and function at each crossroad of a product’s development.
The second order constrain is the trade off between time/resources and variants explored.
The third order constrain is the utilization of time to build capababilty to translate resources to number of variants to be explored.
Time is thus the highest order constrain to building a strong solid foundation. Trees that grow taller and has denser trunks tend to have a longer time maturity. A by-product is their fire resistance. The sequoia tree avoids unnecessary extravagance but conserves all its energy to grow quietly, adamantly and deeply to achieve a majestic presence overtime.