Complex Systems & Where to Find Them • Personal

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

Part 5 of 5 for the January edition of "Converging over Coffee"


The final & most personal place to find complex systems is in the personal struggle of pursuing a passion. For all the positive stories about passion pursuits, the journey is necessarily a struggle. We learn to savor and derive genuine happiness from the process, but it just changes the tone of that struggle.


Complex systems can be identified in a set of relationships where:

- the goals are owned by multiple parties,

- the success of the project/initiative depends on several key contributors - some known but many to be discovered,

- the outcome impacts how key stakeholders carry out their normal activities, and

- the outcome benefits non-paying stakeholders as much as the paying owner of the project/initiative.


The journey of building something from passion is characterized by each of these qualities. We need others to share our goals, depend greatly on the community we are connected to, work in a way that requires heaps of support from family & friends, and desperately want our work to contribute something meaningful to the world. This is why it’s hard. This is also why it’s worth every effort, every failed idea.


“After the final no there comes a yes. And on that yes the future world depends.” Wallace Stevens


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