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12 July 2012

I Really Like The Sentiments Expressed

by Code Monkey

Adam
Plattner{.author-photo}Adam Plattner{.author} - 2012-07-12 15:11:11-0400[

I really like the sentiments expressed by Tim on the state of Corporate Culture

Originally shared by Tim O’Reilly{.reshare-attribution}The Sad Face of American Business: How Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent Rips Off Its Customers\ \ Recently, I couldn’t find my normal laundry detergent, so I bought the Arm & Hammer brand instead.  I was immediately struck by the enormous scoop provided in the box.  Take a look at the photo below.\ \ While trumpeting the concentrated power of their detergent, which allows you to “use 1/3 less”, they provide a scoop that, at minimum, uses 2x the amount needed, and quite possibly, 9x the amount!  The amount recommended for normal use is shown by a tiny line at the bottom of the scoop.  (I’ve put in some detergent - incidentally, equal to a full scoop from my normal detergent, Citra Suds - to help show the location of the line.) For “large or heavily soiled loads” they recommend another line about halfway up the scoop.  There is no recommended amount that calls for a full scoop.\ \ This represents nothing less than theft.  The casual contempt for customers is shocking. “You won’t notice if we rip you off!”\ \ This is one more example of what Umair Haque calls “thin value” - the way that companies boost their bottom line without providing real value to customers, or, in this case, by stealing it from them. (Harvard Business Review: ).\ \ It was this kind of thinking that led to the financial crisis, as banks focused relentlessly on profits and their own bonuses rather than on creating real value.\ \ (In this regard, I highly recommend the book The Shareholder Value Myth , which focuses on how putting corporate profits first in the name of “shareholder value” ends up harming not only the public and corporate employees, but shareholders themselves.)\ \ P.S. For those commenting, this post isn’t really about laundry detergent. It’s about a business culture that condones and even encourages deception as a way of boosting profits. I’m interested in hearing about other examples where companies rip off their customers in similar ways, by getting them to use more of a product than they need. Or other ripoffs.\ \ I’m on a campaign to get companies thinking more about making money by providing value to customers, and avoiding gimmicks. The banking crisis was all about an economy of gimmicks, but the mindset that brought us those problems is far more widespread.  It has to change.Image{.media}{.media-link}

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