what is the nature of business

eagle eating duck

i was inspired by recent facebook privacy issue to share some ideas.

people want to believe in good. even when they believe in bad and are negative, they actually believe in good. they were just frustrated and disappointed good is not obvious as they hoped it would be. so when people look at businesses they want to see them as good.

good is an abstract word, flexible, but in general we can agree it means beautiful and moral. again beautiful and moral are super complex and abstract concepts but i will stop there.

people want to see companies and businesses as good. companies and businesses want to be seen as good, just do not have so much energy for it. lets say that up to 1% of energy of businesses goes to management of this perception. the other 99% goes into boring daily routines which makes things stay afloat and chunk out the daily cash.

so between people who want to see companies as good, and companies who have to do business and have little time to feed this need, reality reveals itself sometimes.

reality is like nature. in nature a mother can look at her child being eaten in front of her and all she can do is wait to have sex with a guy who has sex with ten other mothers every day and hope she can be pregnant next spring and again hope her child is not eaten again. for human standards this is totally unacceptable. it took us million years to learn that this is not cool. in reality of nature it is something that happens every day.

so of course facebook and google and apple and socialist party of china and bmw are doing everything they can to survive, stay on top, make more money and pay the bills. point is to make the products in cheapest way and sell them for most money possible. if they could sell a toothpick for million dollars and call it cure for cancer they would. that is the nature of business.

we have government to protect us from business going wild using regulation but sometimes government is just another business selling us even more fog.

so whenever you are surprised how your friend “the local fast food franchise manager” is using the rat meat for his hamburgers, how facebook is not so glamorous because it sells your cell number to some spammer, how your psychoanalyst is sleeping while you confess your most private misery to him (just like freud did) or how your coach actually thinks you are a lazy loser while he feeds you the story about better health… remember that the real nature of business is to appear good, not to be good.

there are always exceptions of course. i do not believe in binary generalizations but dramatization ads to the effect.