GRIT ED. 7 Your Next Move - Magazine - Page 7
THE GAME OF BUSINESS & CHESS
it can be agreed
that the lens through which
we perceive the world is skewed and
personalized, based on our ideologies and internal
compasses, but there are also larger, greater forces at
play. Economical, climatic, religious - to name a few.
These forces help us tread the very thin line separating
Utopia and Dystopia. Those responsible for creating
ideas and visions become important harbingers
of change, positive or negative. They are the ones
responsible for keeping the ‘chaos’ under control. And
controlled chaos is a powerful tool.
Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and start-up founders
shoulder responsibility not unlike that of the influential
thought leaders of the world. They polish a little of the
lens through which we perceive reality. So whatever
decisions they make, sometimes seemingly irrelevant,
have an essential impact. On a chessboard, their
moves would indicate a place in the game that is not
yet reached, hidden from all but those who have the
foresight to think ten steps ahead. Perhaps that’s why
the parallels between chess and entrepreneurship seem
then can be the right answer
if there is no right answer?
And just like chess, the
importance of the opening, the
middlegame and the endgame can never be
underestimated. Whether you are an old-fashioned
player, playing gambits and sacrificing pawns for a
higher gain, or someone new in the game - studying,
understanding and moving with caution - the thrill of
the game most often lies in the process. It is the slow,
systematic progression against the competition that is
stimulating in entrepreneurship.
Who’s the competitor? Whom do you
beat to win?
In a game where competitors are undefined and everchanging, the challenge becomes to constantly upskill and
be nimble enough to maneuver the evolving situations. As
for whom you beat to win, the answer might lie in another
question - “What are your weaknesses?”
With origins based in war, it is no surprise that the
While it might be easy to open strong, once the
strategies and moves of the game are so easily translated
middlegame begins, the pain points and weaknesses
into contemporary entrepreneurship - which in itself is
become magnified, and if they are not recognized,
a battlefield of wits, flexibility, constant movement and
early on, chances are
one might not be able to win.
This is why the middlegame is where most
games are won or lost - both with ventures and
While the endgame in chess could lead to a win or a
draw, the endgame in entrepreneurship is more abstract.
It has to be more agile, offering more than just a win
or a draw. A successful endgame, then, ironically, is not
the endgame but a means to create more openings
and middlegames - a fractal-like structure theoretically
leading to infinite and constant growth.
As you flip through the digital pages of this edition,
you’ll discover that as elusive as the right answer
may be, it is also easily spotted if you know where
to look. It becomes apparent if we accept the idea
of embracing risk and change. Perhaps that is what
gives some people an almost seer-like ability to see
an idea in its nascent stages and recognize it for
what it might transform into in the future.
Whether you are a beginner or a professional, an
observer or a participant, what is undeniable is the
charm of the game, be it chess or entrepreneurship.
From step one to one hundred to one thousand, the
process requires a specific form of intellect, adept
at developing strategies, recognizing patterns, and
knowing when to take action and when to hold the
As we developed this edition of GRIT, inspired by the
complexities and the many variations of chess, it became
apparent that the already blurry line between strategies
As everyone gets ready to look (hopefully) beyond
of the game and principles of entrepreneurship might be the pandemic and into the future, there will be an
even hazier than we previously thought.
opportunity to strategize, plan our moves and play
the board. And those not intimidated to play will be
“What’s your next move?” is a daunting question, even
the ones holding all the pieces.
if you know the answer, but in the current climate of
uncertainty, the question can be downright scary. And
keep in mind, your moves are timed, observed and
So, what’s your NEXT move?