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Entrepreneurs focus on form AND substance

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • June 8, 2016

entrepreneur form


The over-arching principle of South African law is, “Substance over form.” This means the law is based upon intent, not words.


“The contract doesn’t say that,” is not a defence in itself. Especially if there is evidence that the spirit of the agreement was different to the contract.


The judge will rule in favour of the spirit, or substance, of the agreement.


Turns out business reality is different to SA law.


In the real world, form is easily as important as substance. More so in that if you don’t look good you won’t get your foot in the door.


It makes no difference how great your product is if no one notices it.


History is littered with examples of great inventions that failed because they were not marketed well.


If you don’t tell your story, no one will hear it, so it doesn’t matter how good your story is.


The good news is that story-telling skills are far easier to master than building skills. Great salesmen have an edge, but you can remove their advantage by matching their “form” and bringing substance to the party.


On the other hand, pure salesmen find it difficult competing at a substance level.


Business starts with “form.” It ends with “substance.”


Tell your story.