Don't swim against the current

[In business] you shouldn’t swim upstream. Don’t try to change people’s behavior.

The biggest temptation in business is to try to change the way people think.

I learned this lesson the hard way when I owned a retail store. One day stumbled on Blackspot sneakers. These hit me in an ideological sweet spot: the shoes were sustainably made, and biodegradable!

Inspired, I decided to order hundreds of pairs and change the way my customers thought about shoes.

The shoes came. I set up a big display highlighting their virtues; and invited them to join the "anti-Nike" movement.

No one bought any.

I didn't sell a single pair.


It's very difficult to fight the tide. This doesn't mean you can't have values, or stand for something, it just means you have to give people what they want first.

Published on February 22nd, 2016
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