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Predictability of Business

Page history last edited by Ken Davidian 11 years, 8 months ago



I had an idea for this page that encompasses a lot of different threads, but this is the starting point. Maybe at some point in the future this page will be split up into separate pages, one for each major heading below, but for now, it's a single page.


The "inspiration" for this page is Jeff Greason's quote (which I'm tempted to call the "Greason Theory of Greed" and which is paraphrased here): "I'm not sure if greed is good or bad, but it's predictable."

  • Note: I'm pretty confident in saying that modern-day society in the United States puts a very negative value judgement on the word 'greed.' Heck, a lot of people would definitely identify it as one of the "seven deadly sins". Therefore, I'd argue that 'greed' definitely does have a negative connotation. That's why I'm going to rework this page to focus on the strength that, when taken to an extreme, becomes greed. My initial inclination is to identify that strength as 'drive' or 'ambition'.


The idea that Jeff is proposing is worthwhile from many different perspectives, but this page is to collect links and stories associated with the questions upon which this quote has started me pondering.


  • What is the definition of "greed"? Does it only pertain to the acquisition of wealth? How about getting what you want for less? Is that greed? Is a negative reaction after not winning a contract a side-effect of greed? Is greed bad? When can greed be considered good? Isn't it a matter of perspective?
  • What are the predictable outcomes of greed? Being able to predict the future is a powerful thing, and if we can predict behavior driven by greed, what would that behavior be? How can this predictive power be used for 'good'? (I know... there's another whole can of worms right there.)
  • What are the examples (in the commercial space industry) where greed has manifested itself? Despite calls for the opposite, we have already seen many public fueds and altercations between the NewSpace and traditional space communities, as well as within the NewSpace industry itself, and I'm sure we'll see more. Are these the result of greed?


These, and other topics that will certainly be identified over time, comprise the major sections of this page. Please feel free to contribute to the definition and construction of these sections.


I have not yet developed these concepts beyond making space for them in this wiki, but I hope to develop them (with your help, of course!) over the coming days and months.



The Definition of "Business Predictability"


The intent of this section is to define what is at the root of business predictability (the extreme ambition that becomes greed).



Greed-Related Questions

  • Is it possible that greed can be good? Does it conform to the "strength-weakness irony"? (The irony is that "any strength, when taken to an extreme, becomes a weakness.")


Predictable Outcomes of Business


Identifying what the predictable outcomes of greed are is difficult for many reasons. Below are some ideas with the off-shoot questions that they inevitably generate.


  1. Under construction...



Examples of Business Predictability (?)







Comments (4)

Ken Davidian said

at 11:17 pm on Dec 29, 2008

I have to add more content to this, and I'll get right to it after the holidays... !

Bradley Cheetham said

at 11:41 pm on Dec 29, 2008

Interesting section Ken. I'm going to do some thinking about the questions you've raised here.

Ken Davidian said

at 4:06 pm on Jan 15, 2009

I changed the title from "The Predictability of Greed" to "The Predictability of Business" because, despite the cuteness of Jeff Greason's quote, there is a *strong*, deeply accepted, and very negative value placed on the word 'greed'.

Jonathan Card said

at 6:23 pm on Jan 15, 2009

That's probably wise. I can't remember if it was Milton Friedman or Peter Drucker who said that Free Market advocates do themselves great harm with phrases like "Greed is good". He pointed out that successful business are the ones that stay customer-focused (this is why I suspect it was Drucker) and that business that really are greed and selfish don't keep customers when faced with customer-focused competitors. And so, in a properly free market economy, profits are earned by the selfless, not the selfish.

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