The goal of business

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Business owners do not normally work for money either. They work for the enjoyment of their competitive skill, in the context of a life where competing skillfully makes sense. The money they earn supports this way of life. The same is true of their businesses. One might think that they view their businesses as nothing more than machines to produce profits, since they do closely monitor their accounts to keep tabs on those profits.

But this way of thinking replaces the point of the machine’s activity with a diagnostic test of how well it is performing. Normally, one senses whether one is performing skillfully. A basketball player does not need to count baskets to know whether the team as a whole is in flow. Saying that the point of business is to produce profit is like saying that the whole point of playing basketball is to make as many baskets as possible. One could make many more baskets by having no opponent.

The game and styles of playing the game are what matter because they produce identities people care about. Likewise, a business develops an identity by providing a product or a service to people. To do that it needs capital, and it needs to make a profit, but no more than it needs to have competent employees or customers or any other thing that enables production to take place. None of this is the goal of the activity.

via kottke.org.

There Are 11 Comments On This Article.

    • @quinntyne, I think that you should read some of Warren Buffets quotes and philosphies when it comes to busines or even the guy who si better off that Buffet, Carlos Slim HelĂș. Both have shared words that this post echo’s.

    • @quinntyne, Just what I thought as well.

      If you think the goal of basketball is anything except to score the most points, then you’re talking about the Globetrotters, not competive basketball.

      Are some business more about the love than money and is this often photography businesses? yes. But is this the majority of businesses? Do people run a laundrymat for the love of competition? no.

  1. Great post, and so true. Most of the great business owners want profits merely so they can keep developing more of those endless ideas they have in their heads. The business skill and money allow them to do it, but it’s not the reason. And for those without such ideas, well, in the infamous words of Judge Smails, the world needs ditch diggers, too.

  2. If the full article is read and you take a moment to think about the content meaning, it would seem you will arrive at the conclusion “it is an awesome post from which much can be learned”.

    I think the point has been conveyed numerous timesprevious by many that to be a successful fotografer is more than having the ability to point a camera and press a button. (wont discuss the creative side of things as it is not relevant in this discussion).

    It is about the ability to find yourself, express who you are via the camera, show others how you can benefit them by creating the images they need to express their products, emotions or desires (Clients). Find more clients by publicizing your business in a way that makes it desirable to use you as a professional photographer. Work for a client, satisfy their needs by producing the imagery. and repeating this all the while satisfying your needs creatively. In all of that establish what is costs you to conduct business and then charge for your time and creativity based on those elements. Then repeating each process on a continual basis.

    I don’t do this for the money. Yes I want to make money so I can continue what I do and it is the exact point of the orignial posts and Robs. Money is only one result of the conduits that emerge from creativity. I still do what I do without money. It isn’t quite as easy as would like it to be but I still do it. When I apply the principals of good business management I reap the results in revenue and the cycle continues.