This is a GREAT time to start a business, as long as you don’t create a bad product (Windows Vista anyone), and try to promote it with a poor marketing strategy and a website that does almost nothing.
Running a bad business poorly usually doesn’t make the news. However, when it’s a HUGE company in the US which chooses to embrace a relatively recent phenomenon of expecting the government to come to the rescue them from their own bad business practices, the story definitely makes the front page.
GM’s recent holiday charity request of the US government was recently denied, which brings to mind a joke which recently made the rounds. This joke illustrates a truth we all embrace and that’s the difference between “government” and “business”.
The joke begins with four men who were sitting at a bar one night. As the alcohol flowed, the four men started bragging about how smart their respective dogs were. One thing lead to another and before you know it, a challenge was issued. The next night, the four men arrived back at the bar with their dogs to prove whose dog was indeed the smartest.
The first man was an engineer who called to his dog, “T-square, show these jerks what you can do.”
T-square took out some paper and pen and promptly drew a picture of a two story home.
The other men were impressed and all agreed that T-square was a pretty smart dog.
The next man, an accountant thought his dog could do better. He called his dog and said, ‘Spreadsheet, show these guys what you can do.’
Spreadsheet went into the bar and returned with three dozen peanuts. He divided them into 6 equal piles of 6 peanuts, each perfectly stacked into a carefully constructed pyramid.
All the men agreed that Spreadsheet was pretty smart.
But the third man, who was a chemist thought his dog could do better. He called to his dog and said, ‘Precipitate, show these guys what you can do.’
Precipitate brought out a quart of whiskey from the bar, got a 10 shot glasses and poured each shot glass to the brim without spilling a single drop.
All the men agreed that Precipitate was pretty smart.
The fourth man was a government employee – and the pressure was on. He called to his dog and said, ‘Bureaucracy , do your stuff.’
Bureaucracy jumped to his feet
- pooped on the paper
- ate the peanuts
- downed all the shots of whiskey, one after another.
When he finished the final shot, he then proceeded methodically to hump each of the other three dogs with enthusiasm previously unseen. However, in the middle of the act with the third dog, Bureaucracy yelped and then collapsed to the ground. He immediately announced that he had injured his back.
Bureaucracy filed a grievance report for unsafe working conditions… applied for Workers Compensation… and went home for the rest of the week on sick leave with full pay.
AND THAT ILLUSTRATES WHY EVERYONE WANTS TO WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT!!
Jokes like this make us smile because we can recognize that the story perfectly illustrates what goes on when a “company” doesn’t have to answer to “customers”. The business that doesn’t respect its customers is destined for closure unless that “business” is a form of government!
Unfortunately, GM has been operating their business like they’re a branch of the government for the past few decades.
The “problem” with this business model is that GM doesn’t have taxpayers which have no choice on whether or not to support the business. Instead, GM has customers who cast their “vote” in the market place every time they purchase an automobile.
Unlike government, GM has competitors who are making cars that customers want to buy. Unfortunately (for GM), they don’t have easy access to the US taxpayer’s tax dollars.
Fortunately, the representatives in Congress must face their own “customers ” a.k.a. the “voters” decided it was best to just say “No” to yet another charity request from a bloated inefficient business.
I personally think the uproar in Web 2.0 is part of the reason for the recent denial. I honestly think that if there hadn’t been a thousand voices speaking out in the blogosphere about the facts that the vote would have gone much differently. Not only were blogs pointing out the fact that GM just received a huge sum as recently as in September 2008 – but they were also pointing out the fact that the unions weren’t participating in the proposed “bailout” at all. I believe that bringing those “facts” to the public attention played a HUGE role in the vote.
If you’re wondering what all the “fuss” about blogging is all about – the information disseminated by tens of thousands of blogs may have actually changed the course of US history.
With that in mind – you might be tempted to think that perhaps a business blog, properly launched and leveraged, might actually be a powerful and effective of a marketing tool. Maybe your buisness blog won’t change the course of history – but it might just change the course of your business.