Lukas Z's Blog

Starting a Business: What Desire Really Is

I just want to mention something that I’ve read in the past few weeks which maybe seems obvious to most, but which has basically changed the way I look at the world. It has to do with Physics.


What I mean is that it’s possible to view the world based on first principles from the physics world. You can take concepts like energy, equilibrium, entropy etc. and use it as a very good lens to categorize every day experience and to make some predictions on it.

For instance, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Nature abhors a vacuum”. It basically means that nature strives for equilibrium. If you are in a hot room and the room right next to it is cold, then by opening the door an exchange will happen and you will end up with two somewhat warm rooms. Why? Because, applying the vacuum saying, from the point of view of the hot room there is a lack of hot air in the cold room, a vacuum of sorts (not an actual vacuum since there is air), and nature, so to speak (not literally), “doesn’t like that”, and instantly starts working on change.

Again, this is not what happens on the molecular or even energetic level, but it’s a useful metaphor.

Another metaphor may be activation energy. Some chemical reactions require an imput to get going. A combustion engine either needs a lot of pressure (Diesel) or a spark (Gasoline) to set off the combustion that frees all that mechanical power stored in the mixture. It’s the same with us. We do not wan’t to do something until there’s a large enough pressure in our minds to do it. It could be basic like hunger, so we stand up and make a sandwich, or it could be more complicated, like a depression that keeps re-surfacing, and finally it reaches the breaking point at which we open up the browser and start googling for local psycholoigsts.


For some reason I used to exclude the concept of desire. It seemed outside of physics for me and in the realm of human hopes, dreams, relationships and egos. For example I thought it’s not simple phyics why somebody would spend $80.000 on a BMW. That’s a ridiculous price for a car and it’s completely irrational and therefore it cannot have anything to do with physics.

But that is not so. It has everything to do with it. And being a mechanism it can be applied in a larger mechanism (= a business) with predictable results. Bascially it works like a clockwork.

It’s important to first uncover a characteristic of desire, which directly maps to the laws of physics: Desire cannot be created or destroyed. At least not by marketing. And at least not without putting as much effort into doing it as in iventing the fist nuclear bomb.

It just exists, out there, forever and will always exist. It’s the side effect (or even the cause?) of being human. It’s the side effect of how our biology and society evolved. It can change its shape, morph into something specific, like the desire to get a BMW, but it all leads back, essentially, to the root desire which has always been there. (Or, if it wasn’t always there and it was created later on, it was done by large glacier like forces that we cannot control anyway.)

Building a Magical Lens

If we reduce the abstraction just a little bit and look at this nebulous thing called desire as light, we can use another useful metaphor so we can start working with it. Because now that it’s light, we can try to build a lens and try to focus this light to come together in a certain point of focus. And this point is our business or product(, but I guess it can also be a person, since people seem to be really into celebrities and easily captured by them).

How? By tuning in to the right frequency (you know light has a wavelength and wavelengths correspond to frequencies, right?). Or hm, let me just use music to illustrate (music is all about frequencies, too): We get out there and play a certain chord on the piano, and if we do it right, all the people that think that the chordsounds great are those with the problem that we are creating a solution for.

If we are tuned in to the desire perfectly, what we say to them will resonate in such a way that they will assume automatically, and with conviction, that we also have the solution. And they will start following and we will have build that magical lens.

Like current that flows through the wire, because it has no better option, the prospects targeted in such a way, will by neccesity buy from us (or at least be magnetically pulled in to stick around and read a bit more of our copy).


As usual, this post developed a life of its own while I was writing it. I just want to emphasize that the shift in my perception was that these things are out there in the world, and they are happening, not because people are generally bored, but by neccessity. And it is possible to introduce things into the world that will have an effect. Not perhaps, but certainly.

Look around. People do it every day.

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