Aesop's famous fable about the tortoise and the hare is a whimsical explanation for the virtue of the philosophy: "Slow and steady does it".
But although the tortoise eventually wins the race against its cocky competitor, Aesop really doesn't give enough credit to a creature that has a remarkable lifespan of longer than 150 years, has adapted to environments as remote as the Galapagos Islands and is fondly represented in ancient mythology the world over.
500 years after Aesop, in a culture characterised by fast-paced lifestyles, there are intriguing lessons to be learned from one of nature's slowest and most successful organisms.
Tortoises are associated with wisdom and gentility because of their longevity and calm temperament. They have a strong outer shell that protects their vital organs and allows them to retreat from predators. Many cultures have myths and legends depicting the turtle or tortoise carrying the world on its back or supporting the heavens.
They are also the inspiration for South African software-startup, Hex's stakeholder database management programme: Turtleshell.
"When we decided to model our software on successes we observed in nature, we wanted to learn how to make something last for a long time, grow steadily and have authenticity instead of just speed", says Hex project manager Mark Fox.
"In periods of plenty during the year the tortoise grows a new ring around the hexagon-patterned plates on its shell. Learning this sparked the idea for a database like this one, that accumulates contacts and helpful information about those contacts but that is highly responsive and interactive. We wanted organisations and stake-holders to feel "in-touch".
Certainly the way we socialize and interact has changed.
With the introduction of the internet and social networking sites there has been a radical shift from the necessity for person-to-person interaction, to a culture of communicating using computers as mediators. There is the sense that something has been lost in translation from life to screen and that people are left craving authentic human experiences.
Hex is making programmes that aspire to strike an ideal balance.
"We want those valuable, personal interactions to happen, while allowing for expansion and the great conveniences of digitization." added Fox in an interview leading up to the launch of the Hex.org website.
The Hex Turtleshell Stakeholder Database Manager is a program within the suite of Hex.org products that enables businesses to store both basic and incredibly complex stakeholder details and to view them in ways that show trends, patterns and preferences.
It stores information and allows you to filter it according to what you hope to learn. You may want to know the average distance a client travels to reach your business, the average age-group of your clients or which products they favour over others.
Knowlege like this helps you to fine-tune your business to meet the needs of your clients and also to keep in touch with them in a qualitative way.
To find out more about Hex's stakeholder database contact firstname.lastname@example.org.