What Silicon Valley Can Learn From Orgasm
by OneTaste Living Library Nov 10, 2013
Before I got involved with OneTaste, I spent much of my career at Silicon Valley startups. The amazing thing about startups is that they require magic to succeed. There is something inherently witchy and magical about creating something new out of nothing, and then setting it free to change the world. Many startup founders even have what we call fourth-dimensional powers that no one can quite understand. For example, people talk about Steve Jobs's reality distortion field: he had this magical power to bend reality for anyone within his vicinity. Whenever he unveiled a new product in one of his infamous keynotes, it magically took off. He just had this belief that his products were going to change the world and he managed to infect everyone around him with that belief. And more often than not, what he foretold actually came to pass. I've worked for a few entrepreneurs who had a similar ability. No matter how bleak the situation, they had this belief that they could make magic and inevitably they did—even if the outcome looked nothing like the original expectation. The thing about Silicon Valley is that everyone knows on some level that magic is required to build a successful company or product, but very few people really know how to cast magic. Most of the people who can cast magic don't believe that there's anything special at work—just a lot of hard work and determination. A ton of what we call third-dimensional systems have sprung up to try to replicate the magic that creates a successful company. Scholars have studied successful entrepreneurs, writing down every detail of what they do, and turning those case studies into a system that any idiot can follow. Just pick the right market opportunity, design a product that fills the gap, raise some money, and soon enough you will be able to spend half your year making angel investments and the other half skiing in Tahoe. The problem is that it usually doesn't work. You can't turn the fourth dimension into a three-dimensional system. You can describe what happened after the fact, but there's always a discontinuity between the "system" and "success." At some point, the system breaks down and you just have to say something like "and magic happened." But most computer nerds are far too literal to admit to anything like that. They want a sure-fire method that you can apply over and over again to turn ideas into money. If you admitted publicly that you cast a magical spell to make your product successful, most of people would think that you had a screw loose—although they would probably ask you to write down the exact words and hand motions you used, and the breed of goat you sacrificed, just to cover the unlikely case that it ends up working. When I ended up at OneTaste, I was amazed that magic is actually an accepted thing. The interesting thing about orgasm is that, not only is magic necessary for it to succeed, but it's actually a required part of the system. You just get clear on your desire, remove all of the roadblocks, and stuff happens. It's pretty common around here to hear people say things like, "I felt like I was blocked, so I had an OM and wrote some fear inventory, and suddenly things started moving. Someone just called me up and offered me new business." If this were the Silicon Valley, there would probably be a 400-page guide to writing fear inventory in just the right way so that new business comes along, but at OneTaste, we admit that there is no exact recipe for anything. You just stay clear, do what feels right, and then magic happens. And the thing that makes it really magical is that it's always different—and in some way better—from the picture you had in your mind when you started. So what can Silicon Valley learn from OneTaste? It turns out that desire and sensation might be the missing ingredient to it all. Rather than living life according to a formula of what is guaranteed to make you successful, why not just throw that out and live according to what feels right? And how do you know what feels right? Well, I think that a lot of startup people would live more satisfying lives if they practiced Orgasmic Mediation. OM is the practice that drives your desire compass. By learning to engage in a goalless practice and feel what happens during the 15 minutes, you gradually learn to live your life by feel. “Does this thing feel good? Ok, I'm going to keep doing it. Does it feel off in some way? Well, maybe I should get clear on what I want, and then move towards that instead?” It's scary to live life by feel rather than formula, but at the end of the day that's what makes things rewarding. We never know exactly what we are going to get—and we make that into a way of life. We open ourselves up to all of the possibilities, rather than just the ones that fit our preconceived notions of what success looks like.