A conductor raises his baton, and a hush pervades the space behind him. You could hear a pin drop. The first, isolated notes of violin appear, soothing yet probing, before they are joined by a broader range of instruments. As the sound builds, the harmonies and rhythms touch some deep part of our brains to trigger emotions, memories and even physiological responses - heart rates quicken and slow, muscles tighten, hackles rise and fall.
Behind these complex stimuli lies a complex orchestration of sounds and silence as even the spaces in between the notes drive a reaction. Without the conductor and the solitary, flicking dance of his baton, the orchestra would struggle; with nobody to keep the beat, timings would start to diverge resulting in, if not a musical train wreck, an altogether muddier sound with less definition. The differences, which might start as microseconds, quickly move within the human ability to recognise them.
Even further back, however, exists an even more complex web — of materials, of craftsmanship, of tuning, of purposeful practice, of intuition, some of which may have taken years to perfect. All such moments come together on the night to form what the audience sees and hears, ultimately driving the experience. One weak player, one poorly maintained instrument could have profound consequences for the whole performance. But this night, for reasons nobody can explain, the result is sublime.
In the same way today’s startups and innovators are building on a complex yet powerful platform, each looking to steal a march on the competition. The winners will be those who delight their audiences, even if for a moment, and they will be rewarded for the value they give.