Coined by a mobster
The phrase “It’s nothing personal. It’s just business” was originally coined by Otto Berman – an accountant for organized crime in the US in the 1930’s. (Pictured above is Al Capone – another gangster from the same era.)
Anyone saying “It’s just business” is thereby quoting a mobster and criminal as a justification for their business actions.
Charming? Not so much.
I personally prefer not to do business with people that have such a motto – regardless how successful they may be.
They either lack morale or have fundamentally misunderstood the essence of “business”.
What is the essence of Business?
Business is basically the same thing as Capitalism – and Capitalism is basically the art of voluntary exchanges between two parties;
I give something to you and you give something in return.
We’re both happy.
Voluntary exchanges – which have been going on since the dawn of mankind – allows for specialization which drives huge efficiency gains;
More food can be produced by fewer people, from the same strip of land. Specialized teams can create iPhones, Teslas and new medicines.
While services and products become better and cheaper they also consume less and less resources while being produced – to the benefit of the planet.
Those creating services and products also earn more – while the things they need to buy become cheaper.
This is the mechanism that has made this planet a significantly better place than it was a century ago.
Creating a better world
Voluntary exchanges – boosted by globalization and technology – is basically what has brought mankind away from extreme poverty, hunger and short lifespans.
This is why the growing skepticism against capitalism and globalization is such a concern.
Isolationism, nationalism and anti-capitalism is on the rise, as populists on both edges of the political spectrum gain momentum – to the detriment of our and our children’s joint future.
Set a good example for capitalism
In the movie Wall street in the 80’s, the character Gordon Gekko famously stated that “Greed is good“.
I personally disagree.
A planet driven by the ethics defined by the Gordon Gekkos and Otto Bermans of this world – does not seem to be a nice world for us or our children to live in.
It has been said that “No one likes a monopoly until they have one themselves”.
There will always be those that try to shortcut the system, and step on others – for their own gains – while also giving capitalism a bad name.
Don’t be like them.
CEO & Founder, Sonetel