The tale of Poor Little Company
Once upon a time there was a very nice company. It was always smiling, it used fancy words and it separated its waste. It was colorful and fun, with a name that could be used as a pun, drawn on a smart logo. It sold not only goods and services but along with it a very personal aura, its own, which buyers (mostly other companies) carried with them and used to facilitate and brighten their work and their lives; and also to show-off.
Upon closer inspection, this company — like any — was not a one thing, simple, coherent. It had an intrinsic complexity, characteristic of living things. Would you, human reader, be offended if I said that it had a round personality? It had qualities and defects, joys and sorrows, forgotten dreams, errors of which it repented but did not tell anyone (after destroying the receipts). Contrary to what the canonical romantic comedy marketing peeps wanted to make it look like, our little company there had its problems. The most serious of them was that, with its eye on success, it turned what at first was disciplined focus into a true obsession for productivity.
The little company in this story was relatively young, and every youngster thinks it’s immortal, that it can do anything. The energy of the young little company seemed endless. It did marathons, worked overnights and holidays and sold its vacations, only to meet the growth goals that it(s father, Mr. Market) calculated as the minimum necessary for it to keep on companying.
As it happens, as any living thing, the little company was constituted, beyond the physical parts of windows, walls, electrical wires and internet waves, of tiny beings using its bowels to survive, while they helped it live. Humans are to companies as intestinal bacteria are to humans. And this company started to treat its own body very badly, wanting exactly the same productivity growth from it every day, regardless of the lack of sleep and the stress of tight schedules. Gradually the little beings began to malfunction, some ill, others depressed. Without its living beings, the company resorted to artificial living being’s capsules (FreelansTM), which promised to help with the volume of work but could not be trusted for quality. Only quality is half of what gives a product its aura: without consistent quality, the little company just could not sell anything anymore.
After a few months the poor little company merely tottered about, cursing its own ambition. Until one day it occurred to it that it could not have been different, if it had not tried with all strength it might have never forgiven itself. With that, it did forgive itself and spent its last resources at the notary, humbly declaring its own bankruptcy. I do not know of many humans who died with the sense of self-forgiveness that this poor little company had.
The empty room today seems like it’s mourning, for those who look inside. From the outside, however, the colorful poster on the window announcing the available room is reassuring. Mr. Market looks at the bright primary colors of the poster with a face at the same time peaceful and excited; the same face humans make when they look at their babies.