In Phishing for Phools, Nobel Prize-winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller argue that “free” markets harm as well as help us. They note that:
“as long as there is profit to be made, sellers will systematically exploit our psychological weaknesses and our ignorance through manipulation and deception”.
They carry on showing many examples and explaining the phenomena. It makes one wonder whether the world really needs to be like that. Hopefully not of course. But notwithstanding, we still see it taking place every day. From deceptive advertising to cheating and lying politicians.
How is this possible one wonders and where is the love?
Is it possible to love, act accordingly and be successful in business anyway? It is now possible for customers to demand more care and responsible behaviour with the improving ability to directly engage using (social) media, thus enforcing new levels of responsiveness, transparency and communication. Customers now have a voice and can and will raise it. Almost no company can afford to ignore this trend anymore.
But will this development also open up new business opportunities for the ethically better endowed and more caring? Founders that do genuinely care about their customers definitely ought to have a better chance now. Technology enables them to easily communicate and transact directly with those that share their love or are lucky enough just to be on the receiving end of it. Audiences are starting to become more assertive and open to alternative solutions and not just to ones that are pushed in their face by big-budget marketing.
Do you love your company?
The ethical company can now much easier go global with its offering, build scale and a following that will help them to spread their gospel. This is the time that oligopolies and closed business practices can really be challenged. To love your business, share what you treasure, what you have learned or found and helping others to become healthy, happy, friendly, caring, smart, confident, trustworthy or sincere must be a business model that can only win.
Let’s show the cynics that they are wrong and help the ones that are “phishing for phools” to change their ways.