Monday, 11 December 2006

Entrepreneurial Morality - An Oxymoron?

Paul Kedrosky poses the interesting question "is there such a thing as entreprenurial morality?"

A lot of the debate (see post below) surrounding payperpost seemed to have two camps on the subject. The "this is ethically wrong" camp and the "this is just business" camp.

And there in lies the rub. Who gets to decide what is morale and what is not? In Paul's case he refers to VCs who won't give money to gambling sites or porn even though they are clearly good businesses. When I started working at telepersonals (now Lavalife) in '89, all my friends were sure I was somehow involved in something illicit and ethically challenged even though I was clear that it was not (I was just ahead of my time ;-)

In the case of payperpost, if customers find it offensive that brands are trying to manipulate the blogosphere (and let's remember the reasons behind blogs becoming so popular in the first place - in part as an alternative to the Corporate Webosphere), then I have no doubt they will make their displeasure known.

At the end of the day, everyone has their own line - what's wrong vs. what's 'just business'. And the wonderful thing about the Web is what's considered right or wrong does not becomes the decision of business executives, rather it becomes the decision of the network.

If the network says thumbs up, then all good. If they don't, well, I guess you won't really have a businesss, ethically challenged or not, for long.


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