Replacing the incumbents (facing the competition)
This story holds an interesting lesson is for entrepreneurs in an industry with big incumbents.
God tells Moses to send spies into a land He’s going to give them.
Moses gives the spies instructions to come back and let him know, “whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not.” Etc
You could call this market research.
The 12 spies come back with some of the fruit of the land. They even find out that the grapes are so big that two men need to carry them on poles. They also come back with a report that there are giants in the land and they they are as grasshoppers in their eyes.
For many people this sounds like an honest report. It’s like saying “I want to be in that industry but the incumbents are billion dollar corporations and as a startup, I’ll be eaten alive.”
In fact investors, the press and friends will probably tell you the same thing.
But how did God take this?
He called it an evil report and every single one of those doubters died as a result of what they said.
Who was God pleased with?
Joshua and Caleb were the only ones who were positive and did not consider the problems in the land.
Joshua said “they are bread for us”
Caleb said “let us go at once to possess it.”
“and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.””
Numbers 14:7–9 NKJV
Have you noticed what’s missing in Joshua and Caleb’s report?
They didn’t even acknowledge the opposition. They knew that with God, no enemy is a factor. The giants might as well have been ants.
These are the kind of people you want in your camp.
- People who don’t consider market research and economic factors as greater than God’s ability.
- People who do not see themselves as less than any corporation or system.
People for whom, the giants are not a factor.
Courage and boldness has defined more business successes than talent has in the history of enterprise. Many times those who write the press releases and even the loud investors have never really done anything as bold as what you’re trying to do so only listen to them for useful facts and not their opinions.
God’s ability is in you. The giants are not a factor.
Reference: Numbers 13 and 14NKJV