Ever wonder why McDonalds warns you that their hot coffee is hot? Why every Bic lighter has a label with print so tiny no one can read it? Why Townhouse reduced fat crackers aren’t packaged as a low fat product? Why American Idol finally allowed online voting?
Well, in a series of posts, I’m going to answer these questions and every other business question you’ve ever entertained beginning with the words “Why did they …?”
Big corporations make decisions and take action every day that leave us, the public, scratching our heads and wondering why in the world they did what they did. Yet, if you peel back the layers on these decisions, a pattern of underlying consistency begins to emerge.
Companies are motivated first and foremost by the bottom line. I’m talking private sector, not not-for-profit, the capitalist frontier where entrepreneurs live and rassle the money bull. Pretty much every decision is subject to intense scrutiny in the form of cost/benefit analysis, risk analysis and mitigation, and impact to the bottom line. And, at the end of the day, you can only affect the bottom line in a handful of ways – grow sales volume, cut expenses or increase margins.
That’s about it and if you want to get picky, the third option, increasing margins, might be a by-product of options 1 and 2. Scale does help. The more of it you make or sell, the cheaper it is to make and sell. Knowing what motivates companies helps discern The Three Reasons Why. Companies are not altruistic. They’re not climbing Maslow’s pyramid of self-actualization nor do they exist primarily to better humanity. It’s about profit and understanding that is essential to understanding The Three Reasons Why. The actions of the corporation are always intended to grow the bottom line. They don’t always work out as planned, and sometimes it takes a very long view to reap the benefit, but that’s always the intention of any competently managed company.
I guarantee (full refund on this blog entry’s purchase price if you’re not 100% satisfied) that at least one of the three reasons I’ll reveal can answer every “Why did they” business question you’ve ever asked yourself. I’ve put this theory to the test hundreds of times and it has never failed me. At least one, if not more, of the answers shared in these posts will explain why your company can’t give away old its computers to your church, why you can’t play whirly-bird at your company’s summer picnic and why I’m stringing you along by not revealing all three reasons this very instant?
Sit tight. The answers are on the way. I’ll be back soon to share the first reason why.
Till the next post, chris