# Startup101 — Decoding the Art of Valuation

A man went to a monk and asked, “What’s the value of life?” The monk gave him one stone and said, “Find out value of this stone, but don’t sell it.”

The man took the stone to an Orange Seller and asked him what its cost would be. The Orange Seller saw the shiny stone and said, “You can take 12 oranges and give me the stone.” The man apologized and said that the Monk has asked him not to sell it.

He went ahead and found a vegetable seller. “What could be the value of this stone?” He asked the vegetable seller. The seller saw the shiny stone and said, “Take one sack of potatoes and give me the stone.” The man again apologized and said he can’t sell it.

Further ahead, he went into a jewelry shop and asked the value of the stone.

The jeweler saw the stone under a lens and said, “I’ll give you 50 Lakhs for this stone.” When the man shook his head, the jeweler said, “Alright, alright, take 2 crores, but give me the stone.” The man explained that he can’t sell the stone.

Further ahead, the man saw a precious stone’s shop and asked the seller the value of this stone. When the precious stone’s seller saw the big ruby, he lay down a red cloth and put the ruby on it. Then he walked in circles around the ruby and bent down and touched his head in front of the ruby. “From where
did you bring this priceless ruby from?” he asked.

“Even if I sell the whole world and my life, I won’t be able to purchase this priceless stone.” Stunned and confused, the man returned to The Monk and told him what had happened. “Now please tell me what is the value of life?”

The Monk said, “The answers you got from the Orange Seller, the Vegetable Seller, the Jeweler & the Precious Stone’s Seller explain the value of our life… You may be a precious stone, even priceless, but people will value you based on their financial status, their level of information, their belief in you, their motive behind entertaining you, their ambition, and their risk taking ability. But don’t fear, you will surely find someone who will discern your true value.”

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