Right Action Right Time

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This is the highest principle of the bootstrap philosophy and approach. It is a state of awareness, capability and grace that will never truly ever be achieved, yet constantly sought after. To bootstrap is to be engaged in a deep and fundamental process operating at every level of existence, not just the entrepreneurial.

Said another way, to bootstrap is to continually be in dialog with oneself and the world through direct experimentation and engagement. The world is a playground in which to express one's creativity. The playground has rules, which must be discovered and harnessed by the bootstrapper. These are discovered through an ongoing cycle of observation--> modeling--> experimentation.

Right "Action" is a proxy for every element: skills, knowledge, people, resources, tools, capital, customers, organization. The bootstrapper's task is to know what each of these elements contributes and incorporate them at the right time so they combine to form a coherent and functioning entity, which serves its expanding constituents.

Right "Time" means that each action has a particular moment when it is incorporated: not before and not after. Time has to do with the stage of evolution of the venture. For example, the action of investor capital is usually appropriate after the venture has crossed the Valley of Death because capital is an accelerator. Before the VoD has been crossed, capital is inappropriate, indeed harmful, because it suddenly removes constraint, the key asset of the venture which drives it to discover its unique business and customers.

Every action leads to a result which leads to the next action. As Lao Tzu observed: the thousand-mile journey begins with the ground beneath one's feet. Steps cannot be skipped. From each action comes new knowledge. Each discovery gradually reveals a picture which slowly comes into focus. This not only results in a totally unique and "defensible" business, but creates enjoyment of every part of the process.

Right action right time comes from an alignment with the unfolding process of all things, including the bootstrapper, their organization, their customers, etc.

At the tactical level, it is knowing the stages of the entrepreneurial game and coming to focus on the right action of each stage.