An essay that relates Gödel’s incompleteness theorem (along with the Halting Problem) to startup disruption—arguing that all successful startups discover one or more Gstatements and extract value by building a formal system around it.
The author argues that due to Cantor’s theorem (inifinity of continuum), companies and markets can be disrupted because there exists an infinite number of Gstatements.
Finally, startups should seek unproven, yet true statements that have large potential. Startups that fail either 1) found a false gstatement 2) discovered a small gstatement 3) or failed to execute on extracting value.
Links to this note

An unprovable, but true statement as described in Gödel’s incompleteness theorem. Any formal system will be incapable of capturing all true statements and so there will always be unprovable, but true statements about which the system tries to describe.

15 Percent of Adult Americans Own an Early Stage Business
According to GEM 2018 Adult Population Survey, 15.6% of US adults are an ownermanager of an earlystage business. This is among the highest rates of entrepreneurship in highincome economies.

Product Work Is a Pursuit of Facts About the User, Market, and Their Problems
When building products you are always learning new things about the user, the market, and their problems. Sometimes this happens intentionally (e.g. doing user research) and sometimes it happens unintentionally (e.g. adding a feature that suddenly takes off in usage). Ideally these facts are made explicit and is accretive over time so that new facts leads to better understanding over time which leads to more successful products. This also requires flexibility and updating ones model as new information is uncovered.

Like software bugs, strategy bugs are a failure of understanding of how the real world works and the value your product creates. They also have varying degrees of severity—some which should be solved right away and some which can slowly accumulate without significant harm.

Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem
A formal system (one that is consistent never yields a false statement) can not also be a complete system (containing all true statements)–there will always be statements that are unprovable yet true (i.e. Gstatement).

Conjecture Is Vital to Product Development
Product development tends to overlook the importance of conjecture. Lean startup and similar ‘lean’ movements create a culture of empiricism—only that which can be measured must be true. This might make sense for optimizing mature products, but a culture of empiricism leads to an incremental approach to building new products and, at best, leads to finding a local optima.