Quotes of the Day, 11 March 2008

Eavesdropping highlights from the last 24 hours:

  1. “Somehow I suspect book lovers feel the same way about Harry Potter as music lovers feel about Jeff Buckley.” (Alastair Rankine)
  2. Overheard while walking past a house where young boys were playing noisily: “I’m the birthday boy so I have to be team leader.”
  3. “Someone in my office just said ‘cyberspace’. I hope I’m not paying them.” (abacab)
  4. In response to my comment, “Stilgherrian is thinking about things that geeks think about”, someone who should probably remain nameless said: “Most geeks I know think about banging Natalie Portman in a blow-up-pool filled with custard…”
  5. “Stilgherrian, one day in the future, your life will confuse historians.” (Nick Hodge)

Is it really so wrong to mix business and politics (and religion)?

So last week Apple announced new products. Yawn. The Cult of Apple worshipped their God, and millions of words were written praising His Wisdom. However the most interesting comment I’ve read so far was about the political content of Steve Jobs’ presentation.

Alastair Rankine writes that the Macworld Keynote has moved from slick-but-reality-distorted marketing into the realms of straight-out entertainment, and then criticises Randy Newman’s performance. Not because it was crap (which, being Randy Newman, is inevitable), but because it was political.

Criticism of the Bush administration is something I obviously have a lot of time for. But is it suitable for a consumer product launch? …

Mix politics with business and you take a risk with a relatively small upside but a big downside. If your politics match mine, we are no more likely to do business together than before we knew each other’s positions. But if our politics disagree, this difference becomes a barrier that we each have to overcome in order to do business together.

I’m not arguing for censorship or anything. I’m just saying that the separation of politics and business is crucial for the success of both.

I disagree.

Business is about making money, yes, but sometimes I think it’s wrong to “leave politics at the door”. In fact, is it even possible?

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