"We owe you nothing."
This week, all but one NFL owner voted to let the Raiders leave Oakland for Las Vegas (I'm not a football fan, but bear with me).
A nearly perfect example of how one version of capitalism corrupts our culture.
The season ticket holder bought a ticket and got his games. Even steven. We owe you nothing.
The dedicated fan sat through endless losing games. Even steven. Ticket purchased, game delivered. We owe you nothing.
The problem with 'even steven' is that it turns trust and connection and emotions into nothing but a number. Revenue on a P&L. It ignores the long-term in exchange for a relentless focus on today. Only today.
There's an alternative view of capitalism. Modern capitalism. Capitalism for the long-term. In this view, the purpose of an enterprise is to make things better. To minimize negative externalities and create value. Value for the owners, sure, but also for the workers, the customers and the bystanders.
"We owe you everything."
You trusted us. You showed up. You tolerated our impact on your world, even when you didn't invite us in.
It'll never be even steven, but we can try to repay you. Thank you for the opportunity.
I think this is what sports fans signed up for when they were first offered the chance to support a team. Maybe your customers feel the same way.