Caring Matters

The chef who goes to the market every day, does it as a matter of personal pride because he really cares.

The baker who gets up at 5am to bake fresh bread, does it because he really cares about the classical way of baking bread.

The doctor who works overtime does it because she really cares about looking after her patients.

A problem in society is that caring is often hidden from the general public and so people don’t see what an impact it has.

When people go to their bakery they probably don’t even know that someone had to get up at 5am to bake their bread, or that the chef in the restaurant they just eat in went foraging earlier in the morning to gather the freshest herbs.

Not only do people not see what an impact caring has when consuming products or services, but most people are shielded from the impact it could have in their own work from their school years, well in to their working life.

When people are in school they don’t get more marks for caring about Math than the other students; what matters is what they scored on the test.  Equally it doesn’t matter if they have an extra curricular passion for the electric guitar; if they don’t play an “acceptable instrument” and play the music they are told to then it won’t be acknowledged in any way.

This concealment of caring continues into the workplace.  Employees are often brought in on a transactional basis; the employee carries out their tasks as written in their job description for a paycheck.  Caring doesn’t even come into it, because employers want their employees to be easily replaceable like cogs in a machine.

But, every organisation was once started because someone really cared about something.  And every organisation must be valuable to society as otherwise it would not have any revenue and cease to exist.  So it follows that the people paying money to keep the organisation going must appreciate that someone cared enough to create the organisation in the first place.

It may not be obvious to the person sweeping the floors or the receptionist who wants to get out by 5, but the act of caring was the origin of the whole organisation and is the reason she gets a paycheck at the end of every month.

Not only is caring concealed from people, but people confuse caring which cannot be bought, with products and services which can be bought.  This explains why it’s never easy to start something new or accomplish something big.

I am often struck for example, by how poor the websites/web apps are for major airlines or other major companies.  It seems to me that these companies can easily buy a fleet of cars or buy security guards, but they cannot buy software which works well.

The reason is that creating great software isn’t just about doing X, Y and Z.  It is about really understanding the user and the outcomes they are hoping to achieve.  Only someone who really cares about the user and their expectations will be able to provide an elegant solution.

This is one of the main advantages that startups have over large companies.  The act of really caring about something is definitely something that large companies can not do.  The reason being that large companies have to create products and services which will generate a lot of revenue to make a difference to their already large revenue streams.  They won’t care enough to sit down and lovingly solve a problem in the hopes of one day generating some revenue like in a startup.

Caring is the overlooked secret weapon of every entrepreneur.

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