8 responses

  1. John Ribbler
    August 19, 2012

    Greg,

    This issue has been central to the success of every civilization and will be as long as humans roam the earth. Greed has and always will be good (more than good, excellent) for greedy people, and there will always be greedy people.

    You are great at statistics, but there probably are no studies on the percentage of greedy people in the population at any given point in time. But, I’d guess that their numbers remain at level proportions as well as those of people who are not self serving.

    What changes in different societies at different times are conditions that enable greedy people to present themselves as benign or even beneficial to others. Greed truly never benefits anyone but the greedy. Even those who benefit financially by serving greedy people only feel truly rewarded if they are greedy as well.

    Thanks for articulating the truth. Clearly the world of business is a fertile garden for the greedy and we all need to be constantly on guard against them.

    Unlike in the movies, they do not announce themselves as allegorical figures.

    Reply

    • Greg
      August 19, 2012

      Thanks John! However, I’m not so sure that greediness even benefits the greedy. As I wrote in an earlier post, companies that seek only profits without purpose tend not to do so well. Being commercially minded and being gredy isn’t the same thing. There’s an increasing amount of literature on this.

      Here’s the post if you want to check it out: https://digitaltonto.com/2012/the-profit-paradox/

      – Greg

      Reply

  2. Richard Conyard
    August 20, 2012

    Greg,
    I was putting something together on gifting as a sales promotion vehicle last week and came across this which you might find interesting:
    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/literally-psyched/2012/01/04/the-psychology-behind-gift-giving-and-generosity/

    Looking at this and the survival of the fittest, what Gecko forgets it’s survival of the fittest communities not individuals (unless they consistently try breeding with themselves and there is a derogative name for those types of people ;-)).

    Reply

    • Greg
      August 20, 2012

      Yes. That’s very true! Thanks for the “gift of the Magi” link.

      – Greg

      Reply

  3. Andy Murray
    August 20, 2012

    Greg,
    Great topic, by the way, loved the movie.

    Greed is synonymous with winning, we all like winners but don’t like greedy people.
    What’s wrong with being greedy but also being generous?

    I think we all have certain (taught) instincts that we all gravitate to.
    The word “greed” came up with my wife when teaching our grand kids to share. Teaching them to share is taught, so greed came naturally to them.

    We are all from different backgrounds, raised by different people from different cultures. Who we are and what makes up our character is a combination from lessons taught, lessons learned, what we experienced and adjustments we made from them. Who we are (our character) or want to be, are ideas passed on to, invented or emulated to be like.
    It’s wonderful to hear a story of a really nice person. The one who “will give you the shirt right off his back”.
    Great guy, one you can aspire to be like, you just hope later on in life, he’s not the one running around without a shirt.
    I don’t think big business teaches their executives to be greedy. Big business rewards success, winners. Shareholders like winners, everyone likes winners. So what does it take to be a winner? A little bit of greed never hurts, just be generous.

    Reply

    • Greg
      August 20, 2012

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, but I’m not sure that the facts back you up.

      There many good examples where greed directly results in losing and I’ve cited them in the past (i.e. the ultimatum game, Ross Johnson and the RJR Nabisco deal, Doug Ivester at Coke, etc.).

      – Greg

      Reply

  4. Matthew S. LaCrosse
    August 21, 2012

    Great article Greg, I’m happy to have found you. I’m working on a start up to push a social movement to fight greed in the world, one business at a time. I had a vision and may of very well found a solution. I would appreciate your support.

    Best,
    Matthew

    Reply

    • Greg
      August 21, 2012

      Good luck with it Matthew!

      – Greg

      Reply

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