Lean Metaphysically
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Lean Metaphysically

Philosophy for Business

About the Book



Indie Book Reviews Verdict (4.7/5): In LEAN METAPHYSICS: PHILOSOPHY FOR BUSINESS, Benjamin Snipes works to build an intellectual paradigm for using Lean business management principles as the basis for a life philosophy. The resulting treatise is not for beginners, but fellow Lean adherents will find a home in its pages.

LEAN METAPHYSICS by Benjamin Snipes builds a theoretical grounding and an expansive paradigm for devotees of Lean business management. Rather than explain the tools of Lean management or provide a précis of Lean transformation, however (work that Snipes leaves to the many other books on the subject), Snipes works to underpin Lean--its precepts, its doctrine, and the reverberations of its implementation-- into an exploration of Lean's theoretical underpinnings, which crosses many disciplines.

What is Lean? Since at least the 1980s, when Toyota began to dominate the car manufacturing industry, businesses have sought to emulate what has become known as the "lean management" style Toyota implemented through Toyota Production System. This management style depended on a systemic and fully integrated customer-oriented re-visioning of a business's purpose, process, and its people. In that sense, it's neither simply a model nor a set of methods. It's a business's transformation toward what is called "true-north value": the maximalization of customer value and minimization of any-/everything extraneous to that value.

In LEAN METAPHYSICS, Benjamin Snipes builds out the normative undergirding Lean, including and especially what it is that constitutes true-north value. Snipes therefore organizes the book by value streams, a schema that allows for a paradoxically rigid but relatively free-form examination of what defines a value stream, what determines its particular power, and how it can contribute to Lean business.

For example, "Value Stream 2: Money & Economics," discusses money's "existential and physical value" through lessons in economics, a series of loose case studies, and several market-based examples depicting the ways that value shifts or becomes relative (particularly vis-à-vis consumer perspectives). Ultimately, the value stream-based discussion considers the ways that Lean valuation both accommodates and exploits the limitations of price (for example) to more efficiently denote customer-perceived value and to therefore contribute to a business's true-north value.

Due in part to Leanism's ontological aspirations--it imagines an all-encompassing way-of-being for life and business--a Japanese-inflected lexicon communicates much of Lean's doctrine. While many practitioners eschew this usage, Snipes embraces it, offering a Lean Lexicon in the book's first pages. This is the perhaps clearest tell that this book is not for beginners. In fact, it's not even for intermediate practitioners. LEAN METAPHYSICS is for advanced and perhaps impassioned devotees. Readers who are not only familiar with Lean principles but who are comfortable speaking Lean language will find much to mull over here.

~Molly Gage for IndieReader


We all live within a lean, “ontological teleology,” which is the innate objective of further being and becoming more -- a condition we have been unwillingly thrust into since birth. Darwinism is a specific, biological example of the ontological teleology. The overall goal of the ontological teleology is both self-defining within the universe (the “ontological medium”), and possibly for something beyond existence based upon what people believe without common agreement, such as religion.  

If we bracket out this speculation, we can see the ontological teleology most clearly across all gradations of life and existence. Existence along these gradations forms degrees of lean, true value. Value can be broken down three ways into that which is universal, process, or personal in nature. Life is created at the point that the universal and process values successfully interact and adapt within the universe to perpetually energize and reproduce. Cognitive and conscious organisms develop the personal type of lean, true value. The mixing of these three value types across the gradations thus creates levels of existence that lean up on top of one another, from raw matter to microorganisms, human beings and corporations.  

For businesses to improve their operations and results the most, they must look at the ontological factors that customers and stakeholders depend upon to adapt, reproduce and energize, and optimize those ontological factors with the least waste better than any competitors, which is the key point of Lean. This optimization moves stakeholders upward along the ontological teleology toward further and better being, and possibly toward getting beyond the ontological teleology itself. At their best, businesses ought to consider what stakeholders speculate may be beyond the ontological teleology from their personal perspectives since this search for meaning and universalization influences what actions they take in order to best adapt, reproduce, and energize in circular fashion. Improving all of these ontological factors is thus what businesses ought do to lean toward the highest profits, and use as their normative, ethical imperative. 

Ben Snipes (JD/MBA/LLM) is based in New York City. He wrote this book to discover what value truly means and how that knowledge is used to make a profit.

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About the Author

Benjamin Snipes
Benjamin Snipes

I have been a General Counsel, Compliance Officer, and Product Director with large companies and startups across different industries. I earned an LL.M. in taxation from the Georgetown Law  Center, and an M.B.A. with a concentration in international taxation at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. I earned a J.D. with International Law Certification from the Florida State University College of Law. Prior to earning my law degree, I earned a B.A. in Political Science and Business Administration from the University of Florida.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Synopsis
  • Lean Metaphysically Further Summarized
      • Value Stream 1: Headwaters
      • Value Stream 2: Money & Economics – Lean Normative, Real and Monetary Value
      • Value Stream 3: Existence – Lean Universal, Process and Personal Values
      • Value Stream 4: Lives – Lean Living Systems
      • Value Stream 5: People’s – Lean Ethics, Motivation and Factors of truth-value
  • Value Stream 1: Headwaters to Lean Metaphysically
      • Value Stream 1 A3 Report:
    • Why Lean?
    • Why Lean Metaphysically?
    • Getting Around “Lean Metaphysically”
    • Further Reasons to Lean Metaphysically
    • Why Lean More Specifically?
    • Philosophically Leaning Your Business Ideology
    • Philosopher Kings and Queens
    • The Philosophy of Lean in the Grand Design
      • Science
      • Religion
    • Limits to Business Quantification
    • The U/People Business Model
    • Synthesizing Subjects
    • Quantifying Lean Abstraction and Analogies for Sales Success
      • From Zero to One
    • The Symbols - The Forward Slash, Circumflex, and Sigmas
    • U People / Toward 6σ
    • U/People in the Lean True-North Value Stream
    • Pay Us over the Pay Wall at the Margin of Existence
    • Identifying the Four Steps to Lean
    • The Para-Scientific Business Process
    • The ID Kata
    • High Flying Mamas
    • UP in the Air
    • Consumers are Always Right
    • U/People and Michael Porter’s Value Chain
    • L-Shaped Reflection of What U/People Value
    • You Lean Metaphysically When Marketing Toward People
    • Products and/or Services > P. and/or S. > PAOS > Pay Us > SOAP.com
    • Value Stream 2: Money & Economics as True Value
  • Value Stream 2: Money & Economics
      • Value Stream 2 A3 Report:
    • The Brazilian Real
    • Precious Metals and the Locke-Lowndes Debates
    • With Money Comes Great Power
    • Caveats to Measuring Money
      • (1) Supply, Substitutes and the Warhol Paradox
      • (2) Barter and Self-service
      • (3) Market Structural Distortions
    • People’s Money Veil
    • Off to See the Wizard
    • Funny Money
    • Traditional and Modern Measurements of Money
    • Irrational, Process-Oriented Value Estimation
    • Optimal Slack
    • Cash and Credit Flow as Meta-Economic Value Streams
    • truth-value as Two Sides of the Same Physical Coin
    • Moving Forward
  • Value Stream 3: Existence
      • Value Stream 3 A3 Report:
    • Existence and Ontology Defined
    • Tripartite Perspectives on Existence - Universal, Process and Personal truth-values
    • You, the Plane and the Lottery – On UPP as a Universal, Process, Person
    • Three Lean Truth Types Aligned with Universal, Process and Personal True-North Value Perspectives
    • Reason, Causation or Nothing
    • Reason as Causation from Aristotle’s Perspective, with Modification
    • Relating Aristotle’s Four Causes to Lean Levels of True-North Value
    • Rational Agnosticism- Existential Causation in the Eastern Traditions
    • Boundaries of Reason – Self-Causing Causes, Gödel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem and Simon’s Bounded Rationality
    • 20th Century Fragmentation of Unification
    • Money as Unified Lean Metaphysics
    • Beautiful Question Marks??
    • Fecund Universes?
    • Other Scientismic Theories
    • Consumers’ Existences Are As If Self-Defined
      • Theists
      • Scientismists
    • Intuition Bracketing (“IBing”) Speculation for Money
      • Chart of the Intuition Bracket or IB
    • Ontological Medium (the OM)
    • The Ontological Teleology (the OT)
    • Ontologically Prospective Projects (the OPPs)
    • Teleology v Teleonomy
    • The Open-Ended Paradox of the OT
    • Silly Suds
  • Value Stream 4: Lives
      • Value Stream 4 A3 Report:
    • Customers Self-Organize Upward Along the OT
    • Self-Organizing and Supervening Levels of OT Sophistication: From SOOT to SLOTS
      • Super Supervenience
      • Supervenience of Weather, Money and Consumers
    • What Goes UPP Must Come Down
    • How Did People Come to Live? Living SLOTS Emerge
    • Leaning Toward ARE SLOTS - Becoming Meaningfully Viable
    • You / People
    • One General Definition of Life Proposed by a NASA Working Group
    • Qualities of Living Qualities
    • Lean Toward ARE Processes
      • “A”
      • “R”
      • “E”
    • How Far ARE You Leaning Toward Consumers?
    • How Lean ARE an Organization’s Processes?
      • Apple of My “i”
        • Consumers’ Pocket Universe
    • The Axial Age – Energizing Money and Intuition
    • Spaghetti Suds ARE Processes
      • The FSM is Not Dead
    • Emergence of SUDS through SOOT into SLOTS
    • The Survivor Tree of Life
    • The Universal Constructor, Games of Life and Langston’s Ants
      • Universal Constructors
      • Conway’s Games of Life
      • Langston’s Ant
    • The Great Chain of Being
    • Valuable Energy Streams are The Great Chain of Being
    • An Organization’s (B/ARE) Viability
    • B/ARE as Modern Evolutionary Synthesis
    • C/ARE Downward
    • Studying Consumers’ Circular Randomness
    • Adding Intention to Organisms that C/ARE (“I/C/ARE”)
      • Chart: Timeline of Known Universe vs. Degrees of OT Existence
    • Mitochondria, Consumers and their Pets are Co-Determined
  • Value Stream 5: People
      • Value Stream 5 A3 Report:
    • OT / NOT as Strategic Degrees of Consumers’ Sophistication
    • As Consumers Find Themselves - Karl Jaspers’ “Existenz” and Existential Best Fit Models
    • Phenomenology and Survival of the Persistent
    • California Dreaming
    • The Rothko Effect
    • Test for Qualia: Do People See the Same Color Products?
    • Lifting the Veil to See Reality
    • The Scientific Revolution of the OT
    • Phenomenological Categorization to Abstract Analogy Making
    • Y AM I?
      • Moving Beyond the OT to What Gets Bought
    • Philosophical Zombies as Straw Men
    • U/People are NOT in Jeopardy
    • Maximally Existential Meaning Defined (/σ∞)
    • OT Cognitive Dissonance (“OCD”) and Meaning
    • Meaning Means Maximum Existence
    • A Buy-Product of Conscious Existence is Meaning
    • Springing Beyond the OT
    • Consumers’ Hall of Mirrors
    • On the Shoulders of People Who are NOT
      • “Will to Live” - Shopenhauer
      • “Will to Power” - Nietzsche / Adler
      • “Will to Pleasure” - Freud
      • “Will to Meaning” - Kierkegaard / Frankl
      • “Will to Will” - Nietzsche
    • Opportunities and Threats as Binary SW/OT Analysis
    • WE/ARE Supervening Conceptual Structures
    • WE/ARE Existentially Optimizing
    • U/ARE Forming Micro, Meso and Macro Economic, Political and Cultural Structures
    • U/ARE Processes Determining Ontology and Ethics
    • Universalizing Consumers’ Will to Exist
    • What an Organization Ought to D/O
    • Universalization of Ought Ethics (U.) for Fun and Profit
    • Universalizing Consumers’ Universal Egoism
    • Universalizing Your Organizations’ Perfectionist Consequentialism
    • Altruism and Optimizing Being
    • The Problem of Evil Google Can’t Escape
    • Ethical Prospects – OPPs for the Captain, Prisoner and Transplant
      • The Captain
      • The Prisoner
      • The Transplant
    • Emotions as Personal Analogies
    • Survival of a Systemic Utilitarianism Inside the IB
    • Customers’ Upward, Downward, Inward, Outward Demand - Supervenience and Enactivism
    • Hierarchy of Needs - Maslow Inc.
      • Self-Actualizing Peak Experiences, Flow and Getting Bought
        • Peak Experiences
        • Flow
      • Self-Esteem
      • Love & Belonging
      • Safety
      • Physiology
    • No Need Hierarchy
    • Other Need Theorists
      • Henry Murray
      • Clayton Alderfer
      • David McClelland
      • Manfred Max-Neef
      • Paul Lawrence
      • Deci and Ryan
      • Attachment Theory
      • Factors of the Ought
    • Zero to One Again- Binary Oppositions of Bought and Nought
    • Ought Factors (OFs) of Psychological Motivation
    • Model of U/ARE Ought Factors
    • Higher Order Meta-OFs (MOs)
    • Industrial Classification of MOs
      • Transportation MOs
      • Telecommunication MOs
    • Factoring Meta-Ought Factors
    • Emotional Meta-OFs (EMOs)
    • Irrational Exuberance
    • Extending Personas through U/ARE Processes
    • The Harder They Fall
    • The Only Way is UPP through Meaning
    • Bringing it All Together
  • Prologue: Channels
      • Value Stream 6: People’s, Chief Meaning Officer (CMO)
      • Value Stream 7: Optimizing, Chief Optimization Officer (COO)
      • Value Stream 8: Extending, Chief Energization Officer (CEO)
      • Value Stream 9: Profitably, Chief Function Officer (CFO)
      • Value Stream 10: Uniquely, Chief Information, Innovation & Design Officer (IDEO)
  • Lexicon to Lean Metaphysically
  • Notes

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