Organic and Inorganic Motivation


Recently I attended a marriage and since I was from dulha side, I was a privileged baraati 🙂 A few people were dancing with the band and intermittently trying to convince others (including me) to join them. A few of them were dancing with full energy and were visibly excited but few others were just standing and slowly moving their hands and feet and some were just walking along with baraat. One could classify the baraatis into 3 categories.

  1. Those who were genuinely excited and enjoying every bit of the moment.
  2. Those who were dancing only because they had no other option as they were unable to resist. (I would fit in here)
  3. Those who were neutral (or indifferent) and were just hoping that the baraat reaches the destination at the earliest.

Clearly, I can say that baraati classified as type 1 were highly motivated to dance in the baraat. Baraati classified as type 2 were probably poorly motivated or not motivated and type 3 were definitely not at all motivated. So, what is the reason some people are highly motivated to carry out a specific task and some are apparently poorly or not at all motivated? A trivial observation in a typical baraat and possibly most of you can relate to one of these 3 types when in similar situation. Further, it’s a no-brainer to figure out the reason behind high motivation of type 1 baraatis. However this trivial observation kept me awake for a couple of hours even though I was pretty much tired after returning from the marriage function.

And this led to my discovery of 2 types of motivation – Organic Motivation and Inorganic Motivation. Later when I Googled the terms, I realized these terms pre-exist … WHAT THE HECK!!! Nevertheless, since I spent couple of hours thinking about this, it deserves at least a blog post 🙂

Let’s go back to where we started – Type 1 baraatis. They were looking very excited, visibly happy and enjoying more than the other 2 types. The reason for that lies in organic and inorganic motivation. Type 1 people were either motivated organically or inorganically or probably both. Now you must be muttering … enough of this organic/non-organic BS, what do they mean after all?? Here you go.

Organic Motivation: If you are motivated enough and don’t need any external force to carry out a task then you are organically motivated. For example, dulha’s brother, his best friend(s), some of his dear cousins probably do not need any external motivation to dance in the baraat as they are happy deep inside .. for their brother, friend, cousin or whatever the relationship might be. Another very good example of inorganic motivation are entrepreneurs. True entrepreneurs are organically motivated and typically don’t need any external motivation (peers, customers, VC/Angels etc) to do their job.

Inorganic Motivation: Fair enough, but how do you explain the motivation of those who too were looking equally excited and dancing in the baraat with full energy but didn’t have any close relationship to the dulha? Alright, so this is where inorganic motivation comes into picture. People can be motivated inorganically as well. Some of the type 1 baraatis were under the influence of alcohol. Do I need to say more? It can also be explained in terms of pay hikes, rewards, recognition and the stuff which company bestows on you to (inorganically) motivate you.

Now when you have mastered the concepts of organic and inorganic movitation, here is a question for you 🙂

Question: There could be some people in the baraat who are neither close of dulha nor under influence of alcohol but could still be classified as type 1. Why? May be because they just love dancing and there could be some who do not want to miss any opportunity to show off (impress girls). Now what do you think – Are these people organically motivated or inorganically motivated?? Keep thinking and if you find an answer, leave your response as comment.

One friendly advise – If you need inorganic motivation to do your job then you probably shouldn’t be doing it. Find a job which organically motivates you. Unfortunately this is easier said than done!

Entrepreneurship and Parenthood …


I read an article on TechCrunch sometime back which was about similarities between entrepreneurship and parenthood. The author beautifully explained the remarkable similarities which exists between an entrepreneur and a parent. Here is one part of the article which I like the most, it is something which is true beyond any doubt.

I’ve never met an entrepreneur who regretted taking that path, even if it cost them everything. I’ve never met a parent who regretted having children, no matter what sacrifices they made to raise them.

Today morning I read the news about Jerry Yang resigning from the board of the company (Yahoo!) he founded seventeen years back. As per the news, one of the Yahoo shareholder wanted Jerry out of the board. The news struck me hard, I was dumbstruck for a few moments. What I found very disturbing was the fact that Jerry Yang had to resign from the company he founded himself. Jerry Yang was a visionary, there was a time first thing which came to mind after hearing Internet was Yahoo (though it’s Google and Facebook now). However that is not the point of this post.

How would you feel if someone takes your child away from you? If you believe there are similarities in entrepreneurs and parenthood like me then  you’ll probably agree that’s how Jerry Yang must have felt when he was asked to resign from the board of directors. That’s how Steve Jobs may have felt when we was ousted from Apple after the (in)famous Palace Coup. Or may be I am out of my mind and most of the entrepreneurs do not feel this way. In fact, many entrepreneurs have a exit strategy even before they have a product or service in place, which is like feeding a chicken well so one day it can be sold in return of good price (RoI). If entrepreneurship and parenthood are similar then this can’t be entrepreneurship.

For the record, I am not trying to say whether having a exit strategy is good or bad. Many of the companies are born now a days with the sole objective to be acquired by the likes of Google and Facebook one day so I would be mad to say having an exist strategy is bad. My liking for the analogy between entrepreneurship and parenthood challenged my belief when I read the news about Jerry Yang’s resignation which resulted in this outburst. My sanity says this is how businesses are run so there is nothing unusual about the news. Probably that’s right so I should now stop bothering myself and the readers (if any).