I must stress that the law of “being the leader, being the winner” is right just when there is a market economy in its true sense. Things may turn all the way round otherwise: a non-market economy can distort information and transform the first one to do something into the first one to suffer from it. Remember the story of Kim Ngoc, who was the first to experiment with household agricultural contracts? He experimented the initial at a time when the authorities were pushing intense cooperativization, thus he fell victim of his own intelligence. I guess that several times in the rest of his life, K.N. must have looked up at the sky and moaned, “What have I done to deserve such a fate?”
Beside, apart from being the first to do something, we must also need another condition which I can’t address clearly. Well… I mean it must be something worthy. For instance, I could have taken pride in being the first Vietnamese reporter to produce a TV reportage on Mevlana Jellaluddin Mohammad Rumi, the person of 2007 as chosen by UNESCO. In fact, I gained very little from that, even pride, because the story itself was not of much interest to Vietnamese audiences, and even if it were, the restricted coverage area of VNN TV did not allow many people to hear about it. Of course, producing a TV news story about a dead figure has very little to do with business, but what I am certain of is that the thing you are the first to do must be something worthy, or at least it is made worthy.
So the first lesson of business that I was taught might be summed up as follows:
- In a true market economy, the first person to do something noticeable will be the winner.
- If we want to be the first, we must have a real talent and information. How to have a real talent? God knows. How to have information? It depends on a good number of conditions that go beyond this entry.
- When we are the first in doing something, we must do whatever to get our idea worthy and our works known.
How we can make an idea worthy or get our works known is another matter that the entry after my next entry will aim to cover.
Next post: some fun to celebrate the new year