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When The Last Smart Lebanese Person Leaves The Country

What happens when the last smart person leaves Lebanon? 

  • The country loses its economic vitality
  • Its very existence becomes further endangered
  • It becomes even more infested with incompetence and corruption

Some of us see this, there is nothing new here. But most of us stop seeing beyond this filter.

Allow me to offer an alternative view. Let's take it from the top.

What happens when the last smart person leaves Lebanon? 

  • The competitive landscape becomes an empty, open field
  • It’s the sound of void
  • And for most opportunity hunters, it’s a nice tune

Suddenly, writing good English becomes a competitive advantage, knowing what Zapier can do becomes an edge, and smart Google search techniques are an advantage. Competence becomes a sought-after commodity; something that people are willing to pay more for.

What I am saying is based on observation, personal experience, and anecdotal evidence. True. But it is also rooted in mathematical theory.

It's called the Doves and Hawks Model.

It came to mind last weekend after spending some time in Yasmine Guest House in Tyre; a beautiful place to disconnect from cement and reconnect with Mother Nature. I saw doves and remembered the Doves and Hawks Model; a classic that illustrates Nash Equilibrium, which you can read more about here (have you watched A Beautiful Mind?).

With the context of the Lebanese economy in mind, the model simply states that a population of hawks — think of the most corrupt, incompetent individual you can think of — can be invaded by the least likely opponents,  Pacific doves — hard working, ambitious, ethical entrepreneur.

While a dove can never beat a hawk in a fight, Pacific doves never really lose or get hurt because they flee the moment they realize they are in a contest with a hawk. Smart.

For example, a Pacific dove would never get into a business that is highly regulated (oil & gas, electricity, some forms of import/ export and other businesses) to avoid unnecessary interaction with hawks.

Here's another example, Pacific doves only compete where they have a 50/50 percent chance in winning. Therefore, they usually win 50% of the time against other doves and they probably lose little in such contests. 

Here's the wisdom in the model:

Lebanese doves have an incredible opportunity to compete on acquiring digital resources that are not on the radar of and are not understood by classic hawks (have fun imagining yourself having a conversation with the meanest hawk about artificial intelligence, the collaborative economy, big data, and the likes).

So to answer the question:

When the smartest people leave Lebanon then the population of Pacific doves shrinks and the few that actually do remain will reap all the benefits and rewards under the nose of the fighting hawks.

Next time the voice in your head tells you to leave this country of hawks where you have nothing left; picture the smiling face of a Pacific dove. 

They just got one less dove to compete with.

Unleashing your inner dove in Lebanon?

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