Human nature vs. good business sense

I was home sick the other day with an awful sinus headache and stomach flu.

About the only bright side was that I got to watch [Battlestar Galactica](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlestar_Galactica_%28re-imagining%29) on DVD.

I thought to myself, “Boy this is a really great show. It’s a shame they never put it on NBC in the summer as was rumored on the Internet.”

Then I caught myself. Here I am enjoying a fine, fine television show — the visual and dramatic equivalent of a fine [bourbon](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knob_Creek_(bourbon)) or scotch — and yet I somehow think it’s a shame it wasn’t put on an over-the-air network for mass consumption.

Which got me wondering — *does human nature, at its very core, conflict with what is sometimes good business sense?*

[Humans](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human) are **social animals**. It’s one of the characteristics of our species the enables us to do so much good, and harm.

Allow me to list some common business idioms that fit within that framework:

* Grow a larger audience

* Add more employees

* Add more clients

* Attract more investors

And yet there are *plenty* of times and plenty of *businesses* that could probably have been better served by:

* Focusing on a tight, niche audience

* Keeping the same number of staff and enabling them to work smarter/harder

* Keeping the same number of clients and improving quality or revenue-per-client

* Stayed self-funded, or not gone public and avoided the associated detrimental market pressures that come with those “growth” routes.

Nothing terribly insightful here, I suppose.

Just got me wondering if that primal instinct to grow/expand our social network — even cloaked in a business setting — leads us to judge the first set of points as “sexy” and the others as “wimpy.”

About Chris

Python developer, Agile practitioner trying desperately not to be a pointy haired boss.
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