How ‘The Little Prince’ Helped Me Reimagine Capitalism
Avoid overthinking what you see and solutions to most problems will be everywhere
It was thanks to a little boy, stranded on a small asteroid, that I was able to put meaning to a philosophy that has guided me through life. One that keeps me true to the joys of what it means to be a child, finding in the obvious not the preconceived complications of adults but the sweet, quaintness of simplicity.
After all, we are all at first just children.
If you’re not familiar with The Little Prince, a classic book by the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery, then I highly recommend you at least cliff-note it.
One of the most important books I ever read, it helped me see things in my professional life that became winning ideas simply because they were ideas so deeply buried in the obvious; ones that only children are free enough to see.
The Little Prince helped me discern within the failings of our economic system, a formula for mitigating the effects of income inequality. I call this discovery the CityToken — an obvious answer that has always been right out there in the open for anyone simple enough to see.
Drawing Number 1
I read it in senior year French class. My life forever after became a child-like rumination about simple moments that hold us afloat — the unnoticed details of a too-complicated life. Programmed to see, feel, hear and react the way society expected me, that little book gave me a guide to challenge everything — not just for the sake of being different but for finding a better way.
To see everything in anything and see nothing at all in something was how I would describe it. This “skill” has served me brilliantly at times in the past two and half decades of my professional life and, to be honest, it has also doomed me at times.
On the occasions when I should have just gone along with the crowd, the mood, the rules, I balked, bucked, and bailed — finding myself more than once self discarded. Like having raced off gleefully, a balloon snagged when no one was looking I reveled in my righteousness; and then alone, when that balloon has slipped away, fleeting joy…