Thursday, June 14, 2007

Quick: DBE

People sometimes ask what "Don't Be Evil" really means. Eventually I'll write down my thoughts, but for now this excellent post from Seth Godin explains a good part of it:
Let me be really clear, just in case. If you think that the world would be a better place if everyone owned a handgun, then yes, market handguns as hard as you can. If you honestly believe that kids are well served by drinking a dozen spoonfuls of sugar every morning before school, then I may believe you're wrong, but you should go ahead and market your artificially-sweetened juice product. My point is that you have no right to market things you know are harmful or that lead to bad outcomes, regardless of how much you need that job.

Along the way, “just doing my job,” has become a mantra for blind marketers who are making short-term mistakes in order to avoid a conflict with the client or the boss. As marketing becomes every more powerful, this is just untenable. It’s unacceptable.

If you get asked to market something, you’re responsible. You’re responsible for the impacts, the costs, the side affects and the damage. You killed that kid. You poisoned that river. You led to that fight. If you can’t put your name on it, I hope you’ll walk away. If only 10% of us did that, imagine the changes. Imagine how proud you’d be of your work.

There are a lot of worthwhile things in the world -- why waste your life working on something evil?

2 comments:

Nivi said...

Jim Collins: "The critical question is not, 'How can I achieve?' but 'What can I contribute?'"

Peter Drucker: "Profit is not the explanation, cause, or rationale of business behavior and business decisions, but rather the test of their validity… the root of the confusion is the mistaken belief that the motive of a person — the so-called profit motive of the businessman — is an explanation of his behavior or his guide to right action. Whether there is such a thing as a profit motive at all is highly doubtful. The idea was invented by the classical economists to explain the economic reality that their theory of static equilibrium could not explain"

Daniel said...

"side affects"...It's probably the dvorak typing.