Some techie has started a blog with the title ‘business is the next big thing’. Meaning to me, that this is a good time to correct the record. This dude wants business to be more socially responsible and sustainable. I can’t respond to the sustainable part. The word has no meaning unless one prefers life without steel, airplanes, cargo ships, bananas and restaurants. Paleo, real paleo is sustainable.
It is hard or impossible to understand the nature of business unless one has worked with dozens of small businesses and extracted the core operating rules. I’ve overdone it with over two thousand businesses of all sizes. And an open mind.
The core principles are in the upper panel of this blog. Meritocracy, diversity and openness.
A modern business will fail if it hires a brother, a sister-in-law or uncle to do serious work. Meritocracy only thrives in modern commerce (and the modern American and Israeli military). Since it is the only way people become fully developed as humans, it is clearly the only socially responsible and decent form of human organization.
Diversity is what is never appreciated about modern business. Not diversity of skin color or genitals which is not diversity but absurdity. Diversity of viewpoint and experience are what make businesses vital and successful. Modern commerce brings unique humans together and promotes vigorous interaction and development. A Muslim Pakistani can work with an atheist Texan. Again, a unique quality of modern commerce not found in any other institution.
Lastly, openness. An analog for honesty. Commerce is often seen only in terms of competition between businesses and based on trade secrets. Non-sense. Everyday business is based on trust and openness. Orders are shipped, advisors advise seriously, people work together amicably, internal theft is negligible, businesses help each other everyday, receivables are received and trade organizations work for their common interests.
Commerce is 95% cooperation and camaraderie and 5% competition of the kind that is found in sports. Where else do people behave that way? Nowhere.
Business is not the next big thing. It is the only big thing and has been for 200 years.