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In Parshas Vayigash, Yaakov Avinu sends Yehuda ahead of the caravan to prepare Eretz Goshen for the community. A well-known Midrash explains this: Yehuda’s mission is to establish a house of study. This is the first step in preparing the Jews for their 400 years of exile in Egypt. Yaakov couldn’t enter Egypt until he had a place to learn. How can we, as 21st century entrepreneurs, learn from this ancient emphasis on education?
In the information-age, the more information you have, the more leverage you have. This shift is tearing down barriers to entry, allowing for disruptive companies to thrive, and uprooting traditional office roles, leading employers to seek out employees with a whole new skill set. Because information has become so precious, education is the newest currency. Following Yaakov Avinu’s initiative, I will elaborate on how the importance of education is refining both your and your team’s priorities and goals.
Before you can use knowledge to your advantage, you must first gain some. So become an expert in your business. Here are some guidelines:
What if I were to tell you that I would grant you one wish? What would you wish for? I know, I know, Hashem asked the great Schlomo Ha Melech this same question. And what was his response? To have the wisdom to be able to carry out God’s will. A noble answer. We should all strive to be on his level.
But are these situations comparable?
What I'm talking about is if I, a regular, very average person were to give you a single wish, what would it be for?
A top candidate for best wish would be the classic: more wishes, right?
If so, how can we apply this idea towards making the most out of ourselves? Well, we know that learning Torah expands the mind. And if you want to reach your potential, you will need to expand your mind the most you can. So how do we do that? Make the most out of our Torah learning by learning when our brains are the most alert.
Modern science has given us lots of insight about how our bodies function. In the 1950s, Nathan Kleitman discovered that the REM cycles we experience in sleep continue throughout the day. What does this mean? It means that at certain points during the day we are more focused, more creative, and more energetic. It also means that certain times we are less sharp.
How are these peaks of energy and valleys of lethargy spread out through the day? Research has shown that we go through 90 minute peaks, followed by 20 minute luls throughout the day.
From the Torah’s recounting of Eliezar’s story to Rivkah’s family we learn a core business lesson: to succeed one must tailor their message to their audience. This principle comes alive in the entrepreneurial world today through the popularity of the ‘agile’ framework. In the spirit of Abraham’s great schliach and humble servant, I am going to detail some best practices we apply to build successful products. Bizras Hashem these will help make your business matzliach.
Agile marketing is characterized by collecting data on your customer’s habits and preferences and changing products/promotions based them. A simple concept that delivers results in this information-saturated age. Many people hear of these ’growth hacking’ strategies and go over the top. They take a shotgun approach to it and end up shooting themselves in the foot. Each experiment you run takes time and resources, and all the moreso for the analysis of them.
To be agile, a system of experimentation must be implemented in your business. The agile framework is based upon a revolving door of experimenting, collecting data, and making information-based decisions on the process. For this machine to work you will need to be cranking out experiments on a regular basis and handling the stream of information pouring into your business seamlessly.
Many thanks to Heimish-tech, Jeremie Berrebi, and everyone who came out for a great night of inspiration and harmonization!