What is the True Essence of a Unicorn?

by | Nov 22, 2016 | living systems investing

The inspiration for my company Pythia Capital by Lynn Marie DePippo

This is an update on June 7, 2024 to my original story below that I originally wrote in December 2016. It was the first blog I ever wrote and put online. I was actually terrified. I tend to be an introverted and private person, so to write a story like this and actually put it online was very difficult at the time.

My journey to embracing the magic and wonder of mythology and fairy tales was not a quick journey. I was always a very brainy person, extremely analytical. I tutored math as a kid. I was high school valedictorian. I worked in the investment industry for many years. 

I felt motivated to write this article about the unicorn, as I felt myself getting very angry at the ‘anti-unicorn’ story circulating on Silicon Valley. Yes, I was offended for this majestic, magical and beautiful creature. I actually did research, as any good investment analyst does. I looked into the history in literature and in art. I thought I would “left-brain” my way into convincing people to look at the unicorn in a healthier way.

However, when I sat down to write the article, what came out was a fairy tale. For someone that was in a special reading group as a kid, this was no small thing. Years later, I still read this blog in wonder, the story that came through me, not from me. It feels like a time capsule to me. 

It is the true story of what inspired Pythia Capital and my living complex systems investing journey.  

Here is the story of my beautiful unicorn:

When I think of that beautiful, mythical creature called a unicorn, I see and feel in my mind’s eye, this graceful, silent animal, that is pure of heart and truly knows me, knows me better than I know myself at times. The long, spiraling horn off of Starlight’s forehead (of course we have to have a special name for such a treasured and loving friend) has this beautiful, glowing mist of light surrounding it. When I find myself staring at the horn, even for a moment, I feel slightly dizzy, a kind of dizziness that is strangely welcome as if some type of fog has lifted from my head. I feel more clarity regarding my intentions and what is important to me. I ask my friend Starlight what type of business should I create? Now, Starlight is far too majestic and etheric to speak in human tongue. For some reason, I just follow my instincts and climb on his back and we are obviously going to go for a ride. We begin to go over this very long and beautiful rainbow bridge. At the top of the bridge, Starlight stops and indicates that I should stop for a few moments and enjoy the view. At first, I feel some fear, as back on Earth, I do not like bridges.

I look to Starlight for some confidence and suddenly that sparkling mist around his horn surrounds me. I feel very light and airy and feel as if I can fly. There is no more fear of bridges, only wonder and delight. Starlight points below us, and there is a long, windy, running stream below.  It is blue the color of blue diamonds and green all around that is so beautiful it brings tears to my eyes. Starlight points again to the other side of the bridge and I see this extraordinary crystal city, a lake that people are swimming in that seems to melt away all their problems. Around the crystal buildings there are people all around. Some are gardening. Others are painting or playing music. Some are quietly reading. The air is clean. Somehow there is power to run things but you do not see any wires anywhere. People are from all cultures and there is obviously joy and peace all around them, as well as mutual respect.

Starlight points again in the direction of Earth and I am worried about what he is going to show me. After all, this crystal city does not exist back on Earth. On Earth, unicorns only exist when a private company is worth more than a billion dollars and these unicorns do not take people on rides to such enchanted places. I silently wish everyone could ride on my unicorn. Reluctantly, I look in the direction of Earth. What I see surprises me. I see people coming together and working to create change. I see these groups coming together from all over the world to solve problems. I hear in my head talk of innovation that includes everyone and talk of how we can use technology to empower people, to help them use their imagination to create products and services.

I look back at Starlight. You see, before this ride on the unicorn, I was worried about him, about how his majestic, pure, mystical, and healing image was somehow ruined by all this talk about how much money he is worth. I look into his very black eyes, and somehow my concern for him fades and I see the eternity and wisdom in his eyes. Another series of thoughts just appear in my head: “Do not fear and do not worry my friend. The reason they mention unicorns so much is because our essence is all around the Earth now. It is true that many have trouble seeing us, playing with us, and going for fun rides just yet, at least not in their conscious awareness. It is also true that they are attempting to fit our essence in a framework that they understand. You see, once they start to get over the idea that there is a limited supply of money and only a small number can have most it, people will trust their imaginations again.

What you see here is the beginning of this change and it is beautiful to behold. Have you ever noticed that when people create from their heart and really believe in themselves, finding adequate resources to fund their activities can be as simple as turning the water faucet on? Have you also noticed the wide variety of people that support and work with each other to assist such talented and creative people? That is the business model you desire to pursue. It is simple really. All you are really doing is reminding and showing people that is safe for them to create businesses that really matter, to re-prioritize and collaborate with one another to make these businesses happen successfully. One project at a time, you will show them. Many benefits of such endeavors will result, including sufficient financial returns to keep them adequately motivated. More importantly, the positive energy and all the other benefits of working in this manner will draw more and more people. Many will want to be part of this effort, even people you might think are currently only driven by financial returns.

I climbed on Starlight’s back once again and we returned back to Earth. I climbed off his back and, just then, he disappeared into a starry mist. As it turns out, you do not have to chase the unicorn after all. When you are ready, he is there waiting to inspire you.