Business Behavior Lessons

This is something I’ve wanted to do for some time.  It’s also something that I’ve been dreading to do for some time.

So is business. Learn while you can.

I’m sure many of you know what that feels like.

The time has come, however.

I’ve been a committed student of behavior since I turned 17.  It was one of those fooling youthful purpose things filled with idealism and belief in the future.

What a dork!

Not being smart enough to jump on the internet bubble, I’ve stuck to my ideals.  That’s why I’m still doing this today.

One of the very first choices I had to make was which discipline was the most advanced.  Psychology Science sounded good, but was less than a hundred years old.  Remember, I was 17 at the time, and that was over 40 years ago!

Religion has been around for thousands of years, but it’s not exactly very rigorous.  Economics was possible, but their track record was poor, even back then.  I wanted a discipline that had to know what it was doing, or it would fail.

That discipline turned out to be business.

Yes, business as a discipline for learning about behavior is a good start.  But there are some problems.

For one thing, it’s not very rigorous.  You only have to be “sufficiently” accurate in business to beat the competition.  There’s no real incentive to record your learning beyond one generation, because there is no respect for communal knowledge.

And the whole idea about sharing information with others?  Forget it.  Everything becomes competitive secrets.  So when you do develop a tool or model that beats the other guys, the last thing you do is share it.  You use it to make lots of money, eat up their market share, and then sell out for a massive profit after your IPO becomes part of your exit strategy.

That’s why I studied business, and then a lot of other disciplines.  No one discipline of study was the best, each had its benefits.

That said, I went into business.  I learned some things.  And one thing I learned is that business people are bad at sharing.  That’s why business schools make money.

Well, here’s a series of posts that are going to be all about an important business lesson that I’ve learned.  It has to deal with using commissioned salespeople in the state of Michigan.  Our company lost a lawsuit, and it’s going to cost us about a quarter million before it’s all over.

One of the many things that hurts is that this is a booby-trap that the state created, ready to be sprung on unsuspecting manufacturers by disgruntled salesmen.  Everything is biased towards the “little guy” against the big guy manufacturer.

But the law overlooks ethics.  It assumes everyone knows the law ahead of time.  And it assumes that decency and politeness count for absolutely nothing.

That’s the law.  It’s how it works.  This is my attempt at helping someone else out there who may be using “reps” (short for manufacturer’s representatives) in the state of Michigan.  If you’re interested in this specifically, follow this thread.

If you’re into business, or law, or ethics, you may also be interested.  I’m going to break this up into as many “fun” little bits that I can so it’s not too boring.

For the rest of you, please bear with me.  It’s one of those things I have to do, even though I dread it.

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