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Could CENTS have protected your business from COVID "non-essentiality"?

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MJ DeMarco

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I was just thinking today...

A lot of businesses I see struggling today because of COVID lockdowns and "non-essentiality" do NOT follow CENTS.

A lot of businesses who are still operating, and even THRIVING, follow CENTS.

Does CENTS add another protective measure for your business in this era of COVID hysteria?

Should the "C" in CENTS stand also for COVID as well as CONTROL?

Should new business ventures be crafted with this in mind?
Will this business be shut down and deemed non-essential in a worldwide lockdown?

Just some things to think about...
 

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Dark Water

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I empathize with the older generation who weren't raised with computers. I think today's youth have a huge advantage of being on the right path to CENTS early on - granted they can escape the slowlane matrix and don't succumb to the nefarious sidewalking uses that computers also offer. Even without going full blown CENTs, it's much easier to achieve autonomy today than ever before.

When I started college 10 years ago, I joined the rugby team and watched many teammates go down due to injury. During that time, I thought to myself that I need to be able to earn an income if I can't physically work. Physical work is all I ever really knew at the time, coming from a blue collar family. That was another push into "making money online" and eventually lead to me making my first Wordpress website (which was an epic fail, OpportunityFitness.com)

I think today, if you are going to violate "Covid-E-N-T-S", you have to do it with low risk and/or low cost. Brick and mortar is out (unless that is low risk to you given your financial status) while low overhead service businesses are in. Would you rather be the gym with huge equipment loan costs, maintenance costs, and rent to pay while facing shutdown for months even though it's considered decently low risk, or would you rather be the cleaning company that can get by on a few hundred dollars worth of supplies, the one-time cost of a website, and running Google/Facebook ads? It's all a question of risk tolerance with COVID making certain businesses higher risk now depending on your location.

"Be like water" and be flexible enough to adapt, whether COVID shuts down your physical business in 2020 or a corrupted supercomputer hacks the internet in 2027 and completely shuts it down for a few months.

Just my 2... cents.
 

Charnell

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I had a whole section in my business plan with what I would do in case of a global pandemic, right next to my plan if WW3 broke out and if aliens attacked.

Snark aside, do you really believe this is something that following CENTS could have prevented? It's like saying you violated control because of a new government regulation no one saw coming. "20% tax on any transaction placed online" would probably f*ck with a lot of businesses.
 

thechosen1

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We are an "essential" business, follow cents, have been around for 50+ years.

This year has been absolutely abysmal because of a lot of factors, but primarily the large companies not buying anything, expanding, or halting production.

This is mostly due to COVID, oil oversupply in the middle east, and fears around the election and whether all of our customers' industries will be gutted (oil, gas, refineries, chemicals, factories of all types in the US).

Is this a CENTS problem? Not really... Considering our customer database has over 2,000 entries.
 

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It depends on the market. There's no way for anyone to control state policy and how it impacts their business. One of my friend's businesses crashed and burned because of school closures, and he had a software money machine humming away for years. When the customers stop spending, you stop earning. No one controls macroeconomic factors.
 

levijean

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This is when it is beneficial to have low debt, overhead, and personal expenses. If you have low/no income for a bit it doesnt really make a difference.

edit: sorry, i didnt read closely that Dark Water said the same above.
 

Bekit

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I was just thinking today...

A lot of businesses I see struggling today because of COVID lockdowns and "non-essentiality" do NOT follow CENTS.

A lot of businesses who are still operating, and even THRIVING, follow CENTS.

Does CENTS add another protective measure for your business in this era of COVID hysteria?

Should the "C" in CENTS stand also for COVID as well as CONTROL?

Should new business ventures be crafted with this in mind?
Will this business be shut down and deemed non-essential in a worldwide lockdown?

Just some things to think about...
Great topic!

Just a few observations off the top of my head, taking an industry that has been decimated by Covid...

- Restaurants -

I think it goes without saying that regardless of Covid, a restaurant that does a better job of obeying the CENTS commandments is more likely to succeed, whereas a restaurant that violates CENTS is more likely to fail.

But with Covid, just HAVING a restaurant puts you at huge risk of business failure. So is this because the industry as a whole doesn't really follow CENTS?

Let's see...

CONTROL - Pre-Covid, you would have thought that restaurants could choose to configure themselves really well in the commandment of control. ("I own my own building, I've chosen a great location, I'm not one SEO algorithm change away from losing my business, my advertising channels are diversified," etc.) Government lockdowns showed us that restaurants indeed were NOT optimized for CONTROL, but no one would have thought of that ahead of time as a reasonable risk to hedge against.

ENTRY - I'd rank the barrier to entry pretty high for restaurants, especially to get a good setup in "Control" as above. Where I think a lot of restaurants may go wrong is not really having the resources to enter, but entering anyway by going into a bunch of debt. If a restaurant owned their own building, there would still be costs, but I bet it would be easier to stay afloat in a time like this.

NEED - Pre-Covid, I would have given restaurants a great score. Everybody needs to eat. Everybody needs to socialize. Everybody needs a place away from home to have a meal....or do they? Again, I don't think any reasonable business plan would have foreseen a world where socializing is banned and it's certainly not a need to eat OUT. And if someone was moving forward with a restaurant business and then pulled back because "Socializing could be banned in the future," we would have laughed in their face as someone who was so hopelessly fearful they'd never make it as an entrepreneur.

TIME - Here's the biggest place where restaurants violate CENTS. And this one, FOR ME, is why I would never want to start a restaurant in the first place. But other people have different tastes, and I don't see how time is a commandment that would indicate that no one should ever start a restaurant. Interestingly, this commandment, which (Pre-Covid) I would have considered to be the main deterrent against starting a restaurant, doesn't seem to have been affected much by Covid.

SCALE - Unless it's a chain of restaurants, you're always going to be limited by the size of the local population, the subset of that population who like your cuisine, the subset of that population who have the disposable income for eating out, and the subset of that population who feel like eating out on any given night. During a lockdown, that number drops virtually to zero. But this doesn't mean that the restaurant was violating the commandment of scale to begin with. When they started the restaurant (assuming they did their homework), the numbers worked. The scale was there to create a sustainable business. Again, I don't think it would have been a foreseeable risk to hedge against to say, "Wait, though, what it we have a months-long situation down the road where the whole population suddenly stops going out to eat?"

Based on the above, I would conclude that the reason restaurants are struggling now is less of a violation of CENTS and more of an issue where this particular disaster has characteristics that uniquely hurt restaurants and a few other industries (e.g. cruise ships). A different disaster would have characteristics that hurt different industries. For example, violent storms disproportionally hurt the agriculture industry. Terrorism disproportionately hurts the tourism industry. A successful DDOS attack that took down services of a big company like Google would disproportionally hurt office businesses. And so forth.

The business lesson that I'm taking away is that we can't hedge against every disaster that could ever happen, and it would be foolish to try, but the more we can adhere to CENTS, the more likely we will be to succeed if an unpredictable disaster did strike. And if you happen to own the kind of business that suddenly finds itself in the crossfire of major unforeseen drama, you'd better be good at innovating and pivoting quickly.
 

thechosen1

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Great topic!

Just a few observations off the top of my head, taking an industry that has been decimated by Covid...

- Restaurants -

I think it goes without saying that regardless of Covid, a restaurant that does a better job of obeying the CENTS commandments is more likely to succeed, whereas a restaurant that violates CENTS is more likely to fail.

But with Covid, just HAVING a restaurant puts you at huge risk of business failure. So is this because the industry as a whole doesn't really follow CENTS?

Let's see...

CONTROL - Pre-Covid, you would have thought that restaurants could choose to configure themselves really well in the commandment of control. ("I own my own building, I've chosen a great location, I'm not one SEO algorithm change away from losing my business, my advertising channels are diversified," etc.) Government lockdowns showed us that restaurants indeed were NOT optimized for CONTROL, but no one would have thought of that ahead of time as a reasonable risk to hedge against.

ENTRY - I'd rank the barrier to entry pretty high for restaurants, especially to get a good setup in "Control" as above. Where I think a lot of restaurants may go wrong is not really having the resources to enter, but entering anyway by going into a bunch of debt. If a restaurant owned their own building, there would still be costs, but I bet it would be easier to stay afloat in a time like this.

NEED - Pre-Covid, I would have given restaurants a great score. Everybody needs to eat. Everybody needs to socialize. Everybody needs a place away from home to have a meal....or do they? Again, I don't think any reasonable business plan would have foreseen a world where socializing is banned and it's certainly not a need to eat OUT. And if someone was moving forward with a restaurant business and then pulled back because "Socializing could be banned in the future," we would have laughed in their face as someone who was so hopelessly fearful they'd never make it as an entrepreneur.

TIME - Here's the biggest place where restaurants violate CENTS. And this one, FOR ME, is why I would never want to start a restaurant in the first place. But other people have different tastes, and I don't see how time is a commandment that would indicate that no one should ever start a restaurant. Interestingly, this commandment, which (Pre-Covid) I would have considered to be the main deterrent against starting a restaurant, doesn't seem to have been affected much by Covid.

SCALE - Unless it's a chain of restaurants, you're always going to be limited by the size of the local population, the subset of that population who like your cuisine, the subset of that population who have the disposable income for eating out, and the subset of that population who feel like eating out on any given night. During a lockdown, that number drops virtually to zero. But this doesn't mean that the restaurant was violating the commandment of scale to begin with. When they started the restaurant (assuming they did their homework), the numbers worked. The scale was there to create a sustainable business. Again, I don't think it would have been a foreseeable risk to hedge against to say, "Wait, though, what it we have a months-long situation down the road where the whole population suddenly stops going out to eat?"

Based on the above, I would conclude that the reason restaurants are struggling now is less of a violation of CENTS and more of an issue where this particular disaster has characteristics that uniquely hurt restaurants and a few other industries (e.g. cruise ships). A different disaster would have characteristics that hurt different industries. For example, violent storms disproportionally hurt the agriculture industry. Terrorism disproportionately hurts the tourism industry. A successful DDOS attack that took down services of a big company like Google would disproportionally hurt office businesses. And so forth.

The business lesson that I'm taking away is that we can't hedge against every disaster that could ever happen, and it would be foolish to try, but the more we can adhere to CENTS, the more likely we will be to succeed if an unpredictable disaster did strike. And if you happen to own the kind of business that suddenly finds itself in the crossfire of major unforeseen drama, you'd better be good at innovating and pivoting quickly.

TL;DR - when governments can force you to fail, only they can meet the commandment of control.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I had a whole section in my business plan with what I would do in case of a global pandemic, right next to my plan if WW3 broke out and if aliens attacked.

Snark aside, do you really believe this is something that following CENTS could have prevented? It's like saying you violated control because of a new government regulation no one saw coming. "20% tax on any transaction placed online" would probably f*ck with a lot of businesses.

I think in terms of probability.

If you follow CENTS, the odds of being impacted by a shutdown or government oversight might be 33%.

If you don't follow CENTS, the odds of being impacted by a shutdown or government oversight might be 75%.

That's all I'm saying.

I'd love to hear some examples of a business following CENTS AND being shutdown. The post is not my insistance that this is truth, it is but an opinion.

I'm sure all companies have had to endure some type of struggle (supply chain problems, etc.) but I'm talking about a full-scale shutdown, complete with a government authoritarian threatening you.
 

Dostum

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Great topic!

Just a few observations off the top of my head, taking an industry that has been decimated by Covid...

- Restaurants -

I think it goes without saying that regardless of Covid, a restaurant that does a better job of obeying the CENTS commandments is more likely to succeed, whereas a restaurant that violates CENTS is more likely to fail.

But with Covid, just HAVING a restaurant puts you at huge risk of business failure. So is this because the industry as a whole doesn't really follow CENTS?

Let's see...

CONTROL - Pre-Covid, you would have thought that restaurants could choose to configure themselves really well in the commandment of control. ("I own my own building, I've chosen a great location, I'm not one SEO algorithm change away from losing my business, my advertising channels are diversified," etc.) Government lockdowns showed us that restaurants indeed were NOT optimized for CONTROL, but no one would have thought of that ahead of time as a reasonable risk to hedge against.

ENTRY - I'd rank the barrier to entry pretty high for restaurants, especially to get a good setup in "Control" as above. Where I think a lot of restaurants may go wrong is not really having the resources to enter, but entering anyway by going into a bunch of debt. If a restaurant owned their own building, there would still be costs, but I bet it would be easier to stay afloat in a time like this.

NEED - Pre-Covid, I would have given restaurants a great score. Everybody needs to eat. Everybody needs to socialize. Everybody needs a place away from home to have a meal....or do they? Again, I don't think any reasonable business plan would have foreseen a world where socializing is banned and it's certainly not a need to eat OUT. And if someone was moving forward with a restaurant business and then pulled back because "Socializing could be banned in the future," we would have laughed in their face as someone who was so hopelessly fearful they'd never make it as an entrepreneur.

TIME - Here's the biggest place where restaurants violate CENTS. And this one, FOR ME, is why I would never want to start a restaurant in the first place. But other people have different tastes, and I don't see how time is a commandment that would indicate that no one should ever start a restaurant. Interestingly, this commandment, which (Pre-Covid) I would have considered to be the main deterrent against starting a restaurant, doesn't seem to have been affected much by Covid.

SCALE - Unless it's a chain of restaurants, you're always going to be limited by the size of the local population, the subset of that population who like your cuisine, the subset of that population who have the disposable income for eating out, and the subset of that population who feel like eating out on any given night. During a lockdown, that number drops virtually to zero. But this doesn't mean that the restaurant was violating the commandment of scale to begin with. When they started the restaurant (assuming they did their homework), the numbers worked. The scale was there to create a sustainable business. Again, I don't think it would have been a foreseeable risk to hedge against to say, "Wait, though, what it we have a months-long situation down the road where the whole population suddenly stops going out to eat?"

Based on the above, I would conclude that the reason restaurants are struggling now is less of a violation of CENTS and more of an issue where this particular disaster has characteristics that uniquely hurt restaurants and a few other industries (e.g. cruise ships). A different disaster would have characteristics that hurt different industries. For example, violent storms disproportionally hurt the agriculture industry. Terrorism disproportionately hurts the tourism industry. A successful DDOS attack that took down services of a big company like Google would disproportionally hurt office businesses. And so forth.

The business lesson that I'm taking away is that we can't hedge against every disaster that could ever happen, and it would be foolish to try, but the more we can adhere to CENTS, the more likely we will be to succeed if an unpredictable disaster did strike. And if you happen to own the kind of business that suddenly finds itself in the crossfire of major unforeseen drama, you'd better be good at innovating and pivoting quickly.
Well put and articulated though from my personal experience, the CENTS framework will stand the test of time. First, this year has been phenomenal for our business which at the start was a job but after reading TMF five months ago the paradigm shift I experienced changed everything.

We are not in as necessity business but rather a specialty/luxury kind of business( we code infotainment units for high end cars) and we saw our sales soar in just 3 months to records high(Make slowlaners and side walkers your customers). Most businesses in my country both big and small, I'm from Kenya, have closed ,why, 95% of them violate the CENTS commandments. Simply put "Monkey see monkey do".

Yet people are all over the place whining how bad 2020 has been government shut downs etc. Our business also has SaaS model which we saw its full potential after reading TMF... which led me to watching numerous MJ's videos on YouTube. One video THIS ONE to be precise gave me a WTF moment which opened my mind as to how to build my SaaS to fully meet the CENTS framework( we are at the infant stages but have clear road map of where and how to go).

Going back to COVID-19, a takeaway I got from TMF was that "living below your means applies at all income levels". Yes this what kills most businesses lack of self discipline/control/temperance when the money is flowing in it's all fun and games, living large, till a pandemic like this hits and you realise holy shit I've staff, utilities, suppliers, to pay etc.

From TMF you'll see when the money is flowing in good use other means to preserve it like municipal bonds, we don't have them in our country but other avenues are out there to preserve it, that way the CENTS model is there to help you get free, then afterwards apply financial literacy as outlined towards the end of TMF to preserve all your hard work else your Fastlane efforts and fruits will hit a dead end with or without a pandemic.

Look at MJ again he cancelled the Fastlane Summit for 2021 and outlines the inherent financial risks associated by going ahead with the summit with current state of affairs and even goes a step further to assert to himself that he made the right decision, why he's living what he's preaching "live below your means" why bad times will come whether you like or not and that's where the excess will come in handy.
 

marc.israel

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I think in terms of probability.

If you follow CENTS, the odds of being impacted by a shutdown or government oversight might be 33%.

If you don't follow CENTS, the odds of being impacted by a shutdown or government oversight might be 75%.

That's all I'm saying.

I'd love to hear some examples of a business following CENTS AND being shutdown. The post is not my insistance that this is truth, it is but an opinion.

I'm sure all companies have had to endure some type of struggle (supply chain problems, etc.) but I'm talking about a full-scale shutdown, complete with a government authoritarian threatening you.
It goes to Control, Time and Scale. My business has doubled in size since March, although I have not hit the Scale factor I want yet. However, in any business, cash is king. I come to follow the fact that the cash flow statement is more important, operationally, than the PnL, and that one metric I keep an eye on is the the cash on hand, and how long it allows me to operate without receiving payments from my customers (Control and Time). If you Control the Scale over Time, you probably increase the odds to over 90%. My 2 CENTS.
 

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IMO it has less to do with CENTS and more to do with preparing yourself to weather a storm.

too many business owners give up pulling a profit or filling a war chest for a rainy day fund because they want to grow, so they keep dumping money into growth (or in the case of large companies, stock buybacks) rather than preparing for a disaster.

This is why the airlines are failing, for example. They thought nothing could touch them so kept buying back stock and had no cash on hand to weather a rainy day.

just like your personal life, where you want to have an emergency buffer, your business entity needs one too, once you get to a certain level of scale.
 

marc.israel

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IMO it has less to do with CENTS and more to do with preparing yourself to weather a storm.

too many business owners give up pulling a profit or filling a war chest for a rainy day fund because they want to grow, so they keep dumping money into growth (or in the case of large companies, stock buybacks) rather than preparing for a disaster.

This is why the airlines are failing, for example. They thought nothing could touch them so kept buying back stock and had no cash on hand to weather a rainy day.

just like your personal life, where you want to have an emergency buffer, your business entity needs one too, once you get to a certain level of scale.
Having cash on hand to weather a storm is a matter of Control (you control your business even it lacks revenue) over a certain period of Time, so you can Scale as Needed. Feels like CENTS to me. Still my 2 CENTS.
 

csalvato

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Having cash on hand to weather a storm is a matter of Control (you control your business even it lacks revenue) over a certain period of Time, so you can Scale as Needed. Feels like CENTS to me. Still my 2 CENTS.
Fair enough, it could be considered under Control. I’ve always internalized Control to be more about not being overly reliant on any customer, vendor or platform, as opposed to taking responsibility for contingencies.
 

marc.israel

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Fair enough, it could be considered under Control. I’ve always internalized Control to be more about not being overly reliant on any customer, vendor or platform, as opposed to taking responsibility for contingencies.
You are 100% right on controlling customers, vendors and platforms. I add to this controling every aspect of the company and its fate. This goes to shareholding, cash flow, channels. etc. It's not about becoming paranoid, but keeping a short leash so nothing can surprise and derail the journey to cashing out the efforts.
 

thechosen1

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It’s so true and so overlooked. A business needs a lot of cash on hand.

Non entrepreneurs might see $1 million in your bank account and be like “Come on loser, have some fun, buy a boat or go on vacation!”

Real businessmen have an idea in their head (and real financial reports and documents) showing what their weekly, monthly, and annual cash flow is in good and bad scenarios and they work hard to maintain a large buffer to support that.

It’s a different mindset. I think it’s important in personal life too. Having 6-12 months expenses in your personal bank account gives you all of the surface level benefits of financial freedom. You don’t have to be scared of losing your job if you have one. It’s so important to prepare for the worst because every boom eventually has a bust!
 

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I had a whole section in my business plan with what I would do in case of a global pandemic, right next to my plan if WW3 broke out and if aliens attacked.

Snark aside, do you really believe this is something that following CENTS could have prevented? It's like saying you violated control because of a new government regulation no one saw coming. "20% tax on any transaction placed online" would probably f*ck with a lot of businesses.
Well how does someone understand the “control” element is more of an art than a science.

I think the covid lesson observation to me, Is that if your industry has a very long business chain, that is probably a bad business to start with. And of course I understand this is purely an opinion.

What do I mean by long business chain? Think of the typical old school manufacturing business. Raw material is extracted by a resource company. The material is refined by a industrial-chemical company. You the manufacturer makes the product. You liase with whole-seller, who in turn push the product to retailer in mall. Any external major shock that hits in part of the business chain will affect everyone else adversely.

Another aspect of lack of control I see in business is that they sell premium products and services only.

In the F&B business I see many low end fast food business (4-5 dollar per meals) that is thriving, together with expanding food delivery market.

Higher end restaurants and Cafe are struggling. This is a slow trend that I see happening even before Covid.

I see a lot of business people complaining that why their customers are “cheapskate”. The real issue is their customers are no longer as rich as last time. Covid is accelerating this. People are in a mood to slash their budget to focus on what is absolutely essential.

If your product and service suite does not have afford option that focus on the absolute bare minimum, I think your business is heading to trouble when everyone is on survival mode.
 
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Thoelt53

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To play devil’s advocate: couldn’t your business follow CENTS to a T, only to be deemed non-essential by some bureaucrat hack?

What may be non-essential to some can be very essential to others.

The CENTS framework requires an honest free market. If there is an almighty body that decides essential from not, then it’s hard to ascertain what exactly fits the CENTS framework.

Toilet paper is considered essential today. It’s a great time to be manufacturing toilet paper.

What happens when tomorrow it is decided that toilet paper is no longer essential?

Rather than try to pivot and fit the mold of “new normal,” shouldn’t we be rallying against it?

Without a free market there is no control. Zero. CENTS is out the window.
 

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The government's definition of "non-essential" makes no sense and changes depending on which industry they pissed off too much and which is yet fair game to shut down. You can't protect your business entirely from nonsensical decisions because there's no logic to them. Like @Bekit said:

And if someone was moving forward with a restaurant business and then pulled back because "Socializing could be banned in the future," we would have laughed in their face as someone who was so hopelessly fearful they'd never make it as an entrepreneur.

Given all the crazy things happening, I think that "C" should stand not only for Control but also for Creativity. But not specifically for the business you run but on a personal level (since businesses themselves can't be creative, only individuals).

Ernie J. Zelinski puts it well:

No matter how you look at it, creativity is your best security. Your creativity is dynamic, not static like a pile of money or a piece of real estate. Static security is based on some illusion of unlimited protection. Creativity is much harder to lose than is a pile of money or a piece of real estate. You can use your creativity to respond to many different circumstances, yet you will still have all of it intact and available for use in the future.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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All I know is that COVID has been wonderful for the oligarchs and big corporations.

Bezos, Zuckerfuck, Musk ... they increased their net worth by double digit %'s in the last year.

Meanwhile, average Joes and small businesses are suffering while business is booming at Walmart, Costco, and Amazon.

It's a sick joke.

Without a free market there is no control. Zero. CENTS is out the window.

Now that you mention it... you're probably right. We're sliding about 100mph down the slippery slope...
 

tpuffer

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All I know is that COVID has been wonderful for the oligarchs and big corporations.

Bezos, Zuckerfuck, Musk ... they increased their net worth by double digit %'s in the last year.

Meanwhile, average Joes and small businesses are suffering while business is booming at Walmart, Costco, and Amazon.

It's a sick joke.

Add Jack Dorsey into this mix too. That guy looks like he could be the leader of a cult or something.

I know that I've tried as much as I can to not shop at large corporations - specifically Amazon if I can. Almost all things that I want can be ordered straight from the company who make the product.

What is the answer for an entrepreneur then as far as what potential business to start or what business to purchase? Especially keeping in the back of the mind of the seemingly more socialistic policies that continue to come up.

I believe that keeping CENTS in mind is still very important. But what could be more important is what state you are looking to domicile your business in. Especially if you plan to be a more localized business.
 

csalvato

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Bezos, Zuckerfuck, Musk ... they increased their net worth by double digit %'s in the last year.
Add Jack Dorsey into this mix too. That guy looks like he could be the leader of a cult or something.


I don't understand this line of logic. Maybe you all can explain.

It seems to me that Bezos, Zuck, Musk and Dorsey have the most control of their businesses compared to anyone else on the planet.

The only ones who can really touch them are governments who can break them up.

Isn't that the epitome of freedom and business control? Aren't they an example?

I'm getting a vibe that you may agree with the statements: "Big tech needs to be broken up" and "Government should be telling big tech how to operate". Am I off base on that?
 

tpuffer

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I don't understand this line of logic. Maybe you all can explain.

It seems to me that Bezos, Zuck, Musk and Dorsey have the most control of their businesses compared to anyone else on the planet.

The only ones who can really touch them are governments who can break them up.

Isn't that the epitome of freedom and business control? Aren't they an example?

I'm getting a vibe that you may agree with the statements: "Big tech needs to be broken up" and "Government should be telling big tech how to operate". Am I off base on that?

They definitely do have control of their businesses. Again on Dorsey - I can't take that guy seriously after that senate hearing with Ted Cruz. The guy looked blitzed out of his mind - this is just my opinion however. He might actually be an intelligent dude outside of a senate hearing.

I think the ire towards them is how disconnected things are when you have these large companies and the owners growing like crazy and then having a lot of small businesses being affected and/or shuttering.

Definitely off base on that. I do have a problem with Twitter and Facebook and how they are picking and choosing what is able to be posted. While yes - they are a business and can allow whatever content they please. They also are able to influence the majority of the country due to the platforms being used extensively. And if they are going to be the arbiters of information then it would be useful for them to state what their parameters for this are. So what can help solve this? We need to have viable competitors to come into the fold. I'm not aware of any at the moment, but I'm sure there are some small ones.

We need less government. It's inefficient and a waste.
 

thechosen1

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I don't understand this line of logic. Maybe you all can explain.

It seems to me that Bezos, Zuck, Musk and Dorsey have the most control of their businesses compared to anyone else on the planet.

The only ones who can really touch them are governments who can break them up.

Isn't that the epitome of freedom and business control? Aren't they an example?

I'm getting a vibe that you may agree with the statements: "Big tech needs to be broken up" and "Government should be telling big tech how to operate". Am I off base on that?
The two ideas don’t need to go together.

In fact, part of why they may need to be broken up is BECAUSE government could be telling them how to operate.

Monopolies, especially monopolies that control the news, are closer to government than they are to the free market.

It’s different than a productocracy. Usually once a company reaches the level of Big Tech, they are already quasi-governmental. We’ve seen that in the 2020 election. Yikes!

EDIT: MJ said it much better than me below. Full agreement.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Government should be telling big tech how to operate
Maybe you all can explain.

Sure.

Government and "big tech" are two branches of the same tree, a tree that is virulently destroying freedom, either free speech or the free market. And by "Free market" I'm not talking about Zoom, Docusign, or some other public company trading at billions of dollars in capitalization. This is about small business, entrepreneurship, and the ability to bootstrap yourself into the 1%.

When you control the government (and their lobbyists, and thru extension, their politicians) yes, you control everything. We're living in a corporate oligarchy, protected by a ruling political class, which also controls the media and whatever agenda they feed the masses.

This is hardly a "free market" situation. One back is washing the other which is why Wall Street has blown through the roof lately, controlled opposition just became no opposition...

As far as being "broken up", the only thing that needs breaking up is this self-perpetuating symbiosis between government, media, and tech. There used to be a time when they all were at arms length and acted interested in free speech, real investigative journalism, and free market capitalism, or to a lessor extent, an illusion of such, now they just protect their own grift and graft, while censoring or deplatforming anyone who dare questions them.

Big tech needs to be broken up" and "Government should be telling big tech how to operate".

LOL, the right arm is going to cut off its left arm?

I'll buy that for a dollar.
 

csalvato

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Sure.

Government and "big tech" are two branches of the same tree, a tree that is virulently destroying freedom, either free speech or the free market. And by "Free market" I'm not talking about Zoom, Docusign, or some other public company trading at billions of dollars in capitalization. This is about small business, entrepreneurship, and the ability to bootstrap yourself into the 1%.

When you control the government (and their lobbyists, and thru extension, their politicians) yes, you control everything. We're living in a corporate oligarchy, protected by a ruling political class, which also controls the media and whatever agenda they feed the masses.

This is hardly a "free market" situation. One back is washing the other which is why Wall Street has blown through the roof lately, controlled opposition just became no opposition...

As far as being "broken up", the only thing that needs breaking up is this self-perpetuating symbiosis between government, media, and tech. There used to be a time when they all were at arms length and acted interested in free speech, real investigative journalism, and free market capitalism, or to a lessor extent, an illusion of such, now they just protect their own grift and graft, while censoring or deplatforming anyone who dare questions them.



LOL, the right arm is going to cut off its left arm?

I'll buy that for a dollar.

I see. I definitely agree and am aligned with you.

You're saying that the big corporations like FB, Twitter, etc. (as well as non-tech companies like Coca Cola, the big Dairy producers, etc.) are able to play a political game (via lobbyists, etc.) that is off limits to the small business owner.

To be succinct: crony capitalism.

I'm not sure that breaking up big tech is the answer to that problem though, because the underlying game of crony capitalism will still be there. The names will just be different.
 

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I see. I definitely agree and am aligned with you.

You're saying that the big corporations like FB, Twitter, etc. (as well as non-tech companies like Coca Cola, the big Dairy producers, etc.) are able to play a political game (via lobbyists, etc.) that is off limits to the small business owner.

To be succinct: crony capitalism.

I'm not sure that breaking up big tech is the answer to that problem though, because the underlying game of crony capitalism will still be there. The names will just be different.
It is more like neo-feudalism is coming to the U.S.

Policies are rigged against high middle income and small business kind of wealth profile, bearing with high minimum wage, high regulatory cost (lack of economies of scale), and high tax (no access to tax havens).

On another hand we have multi-billionaires on news headline, running listed companies that never made a profit, paying at a lower tax rate using hq set up in Ireland and outsourcing most of the labor oversea.
 

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