Last night’s season finale of Mad Men was, by my estimation, a season redeemer. Spoiler alert…stop reading if you have yet to see it. The much discussed poster for Season 6 showing two Don Drapers seemed to be an obvious metaphor for the conflict Don had reconciling his true self and the self he had to sell to the world of advertising in exchange for success. Don cultivated a persona in the same way that he helped clients sell product. Much of this show is about Don’s struggle to come to terms with and understand who he is without compromising the good thing he has going with the ad agency. Therein lies the business lesson or, maybe more of a quandary. Is it possible to always be truthful and “moral” without compromising profitability in business? Don came clean last night and lost his job at SC&P.
To say that all companies operate amorally and only in strict adherence to the bottom line is intellectually lazy. It is possible to create a business plan aimed at turning a profit whose mission is to do good. This year at Big Omaha, Cindy Gallop of http://makelovenotporn.com/ is working on debunking damaging conventions and backward attitudes toward sex through her business and I believe her efforts will disrupt a billion dollar industry by changing the national conversation regarding sex. Other speakers challenged Google on their “do no harm” statement saying that was too low a bar and that businesses should strive to actually have a positive impact on business.
Back to Mad Men. One of the most powerful images in this dark series comes at the very end of the episode when Don takes his three kids out to see the remnants of the run-down brothel where he was raised as an orphan. The sun is shining and he exchanges looks with his oldest daughter, one of the most painfully disillusioned females in Don’s life. There is something cleansing and pure despite the crumbling Pennsylvania inner-city backdrop. Don is starting over and next year will be the final season of this culturally significant series. We know that advertising evolves into a numbers game of demographics, focus groups and analytics. We know that consumers have become more knowledgeable, with greater access to consumer reviews and information as well as more choices from which to buy. Buying itself is now something you can do in your pajamas while the coffee brews. The big question then is this; will consumers demand high ethical standards from the brands they love? At the end of the day, can companies really be compelled to act in a greater public interest if they can still sell their product regardless?
June 13, 2023
Data is like a vast set of building blocks, each has different shapes, sizes, and colors. Just like each brick has its unique utility, every piece of data carries a unique piece of information. As a business owner, how can you possibly start understanding what all the pieces of data from those fancy reports mean? […]
June 2, 2023
For small manufacturing companies with less than 100 employees and revenues of around $20–50 million, several key factors contribute to their success. Here are some important considerations: By focusing on these key factors, small manufacturing companies can enhance their competitiveness, achieve sustainable growth, and maintain profitability. It’s important to adapt these factors to the specific […]
June 1, 2023
Several years ago, I was working on a product that required some attention from the software product teams. This happens to all software over time because a user’s needs change, features need to be added, and bugs happen (naturally). The undertaking was large enough, so our team agreed it would be ideal to talk with […]
May 30, 2023
There’s an ongoing debate: custom software versus off-the-shelf Software as a Service (SaaS). A few misconceptions tend to cloud everyone’s judgment and influence decisions in this area. It’s time to put these myths to rest and bring clarity to the conversation. Myth 1: Custom Software is Outdated Custom software is inherently outdated, which couldn’t be […]
March 15, 2023
Why continue to utilize a mess of spreadsheets to run your operations? We think there’s a better way. Here are the top 7 reasons you should switch to custom software.
February 3, 2023
Wait. What’s the problem again? Several years ago I was working in Healthcare for a tech startup. At the time, healthcare systems could not bill patients until a chart was signed off and locked by a provider (MD, PA, or NP). The provider had to step through every single screen and check a box regardless […]