Timeframe — from mid-June 2018 to 31st December 2022.
With insights from the potential investor and Prem, Nusantara was up by June 2018 — an ad hoc supply line was established, the website was up, testing and commissioning done with the first test sale executed flawlessly. All that was needed now was an organic sale and I would have achieved proof of concept.
And then the backend broke. At first, we thought that was a minor glitch but the problem got worse — with every attempted fix, more things broke. And it stayed that way till the start of Covid in early 2020 and we were in lockdown.
An explanatory note. Shoi is the creative on our team. So in another Universe, she would have been the best person to engage with the Artisans/Creatives. She was also engaged on the e-commerce site with our backend team member, besides running her business on designbyshoi.com, so she’s generally unable to take offline meetings which were mainly exploratory. I’m essentially the business model person and so I undertook almost all of the offline meetings even though I sometimes felt like a fish out of water. This division of labor was not ideal but proved necessary as things unveiled.
It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.
She looks back at the path she has traveled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.
And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.
But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.
Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.
The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean
~ Kahlil Gibran ~
When Covid broke, everything changed. Our first decision was to take back the backend and do it ourselves. This meant I needed to understand the backend and Shoi needed to synthesize the difficulties of structuring the business model without sacrificing our original Vision of helping our Artisans/Creatives. This was particularly freaky for me since I am technophobic. This also meant we had to revisit the changes that had taken place on the WWW since 2002 (when we first started out as a viral marketing company and then as an ezine publisher — how the changes had impacted us, and what those changes will mean for us going forward.
It seemed to me that we have gone full circle and perhaps understanding it for the first time. From our journeys down the many rabbit warrens, I am more convinced than ever that the Vision of Scott of a Community in Business is viable — even necessary in today’s Kafkaesque World — but only when it is framed within a business model and structure that recognizes contribution and working under spiritual principles.
To be continued… The Nusantara Story is an ever-evolving one and we look forward to new relationships and partnerships in 2023. If our story resonates with you I welcome a conversation on our Facebook forum, The Spiritual Realist in Business. I hope to see you there.