Faruk Ateş on the soft bigotry of low expectations and haggling over the price

“Selling out isn’t a dirty choice,” argues Gemmell. Except it is. Selling out is a negative term in every industry, and there is no good reason we should pretend it’s a positive in ours. “It’s business,” he continues, as if business has to be this way.

There is an implicit promise in the act of doing business. It is a promise of respect and mutual trust, where the business offers the customer something of value, for which the customer pays money. The free-but-paid-with-advertising model has made this promise blurry, but not absent. When a company sells itself to a bigger company as a talent acquisition, leaving the product—and, consequently, its customers—out in the cold as a result of this acquisition, it is a reneging on that implicit promise.


The lure of lots of money nearly always brings out the worst in people, and its temptation can be hard to resist for anyone. But, it’s a lot easier when you make your core business principles about things other than money—and respect for your customers should be prominently among them.


The implicit promise Faruk mentions isn't about "business," it's about life. The exchange of money in an action doesn't magically make you stop being a person and living in the world. There is no such thing as a "business hat." It's literally a figurative cap. When someone tells you "it's just business," all they mean is that they need to believe in the fairy tale that what happens when they're "at work" doesn't really "count." This is the kind of logic that you hear from 7th graders saying that it's not cheating if the person lives in a different state.

People with a weak regard for principles are often the most vociferous in attacking anyone who dares to behave or believe to the contrary, as it challenges them in a fundamental way. Immediately it's asserted that things "are this way, have always been this way and will always be this way." Trotting out the old "starve" line (Reductio ad Starvation) follows up as a new Godwin's law: as an online discussion of tech and revenue grows longer, the probability an apologist will appear defending any and all actions as the sole bulwark against "starvation" approaches one.