I, The Absolute

Power is Knowledge

Posted by itheabsolute on October 5, 2005

Knowledge is power – Francis Bacon.

How about, Power is knowledge.

Tim Draper of DFJ was here at ISB. He has composed his views about entrepreneurs as lyrics and had asked someone (he does not reveal which popular artist / group it is) to give a tune to it. At the end of his talk, he picks this song, sings and dances to it. The song was good. The point is not that. If someone else with less success wrote an equally interesting lyric and at the end of his speech, sung and danced to it, people would laugh at him.

Simply put, everyone loved it, loved Tim, and thought it was brilliant, more because he has the power. The power of success.

Power, being in the right place / the place where you stand or sit, gives an amazing sense of confidence and hence improves the ability of mind to process information at amazing speeds and through amazing algorithm. Assuming a topic of general knowledge is being discussed, when I sit at the desk as a student, my thinking is different as I am in receiving mode. If I move to the centre of the room to discuss the topic, I am a completely different person. Not that I did not know of the topic when in a student mode. The ability of mind to process information is stifled because by being in receiving mode, it has assumed a subordinate nature.

One might argue that it is only because of knowledge that the person has reached a position of power. Knowledge surely helps, but knowledge alone does not help. The topic is also not about the importance of knowledge. It is about how power gives knowledge.

The fact that being at a special position bestows mind with superior abilities is proven in many experiments that when people are told they are important, their performance improves. At any point of time, we use only a minimal percentage of what we know. Pursuing knowledge just for the sake of it does not help as we are not going to use most of it. Being in a position of power will let us use much more of what we already know. How to get power is of course a million dollar question.


1. One of the great things at ISB is to get to listen to such fantastic people.
2. Btw, Tim Draper was simply brilliant.
3. A couple of interesting books on power – Power by Bertrand Russell and Powershift by Alvin Toffler.

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