Instagram and having values

I like Simon Sinek's take on the recent Instagram terms of service debacle:

I have no doubt that Facebook, like Bank of America before them, will, due to public outrage, reverse or soften their policy. My concern is that we live in an economy in which stabbing someone and waiting for them to complain before we remove the knife has become the normal way of doing business. When did we lose sight of the fact that it's not nice to stab people in the first place?

Companies should have values. Conscious companies do. There are lines that you're simply not willing to cross. Clearly, Facebook doesn't have a lot of those lines, when it comes to respect for the privacy of their users. And it might be work out well for their profits short-term. But I believe that it will come back to haunt them. Doing the right thing is simply the right thing to do here.

There are tons of things that Apple could have done to make more money in the short term by bending their principles or screwing their customers. But to my knowledge, they have never done that. They refuse to do the wrong thing, just like they refuse to ship junk.

What happens when you take a firm stand is that you open yourself up to a solution that's even better than any you had thought of before. You think there's a trade-off between respect for your users and profitability, and as long as that's your belief, then it will be your reality.

20121221 chamundi 257

But constraints foster creativity, and as soon as you decide, dammit, I refuse to believe that, I believe that there is a way forward that's highly profitable, while also respecting our users, then you open the door to finding that solution. You start thinking about it in the shower. Your subconscious mind goes to work on it while you're sleeping. And sooner or later, the million dollar idea will reveal itself to you, and it will all be so very obvious.

But if you decide up-front that it's not possible, that either you'll fail your shareholders or you'll fail your users, then that is indeed your reality.

Take the high road and force yourself to create a new reality. That's how breakthroughs are created.


There are no comments yet. Be the first one to leave a comment!

Leave a comment