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May 07

No Maybe About It

I received a blindingly stupid email from a generic, falsely cheerful marketing/training company which I thought was SO spectacularly dim-witted, it warranted sharing with the world.

The opener of this email (which is, as we all know, meant to catch the readers’ attention and reel them in for the “big sell”) is as follows:

Luke,

We’ve all heard the story of Manhattan being sold for $24 in trinkets. Bad deal for the Native Americans, right? Maybe not.

Had the tribe taken advantage of compounding interest, say 8% annually, that $24 would today be worth more than the entire real estate value of Manhattan!

It’s true: When earned interest is added back to the principal each year, stunning growth occurs.

This compounding effect applies to manager training, too.


When managers are taught to take full advantage of techniques that improve the performance of the people around them, those improvements become part of the whole, and can be improved upon again and again, from employee to employee, with great results.

WHAT!?

I genuinely thought this must have been a joke, so I read on for a little bit further; and no, it wasn’t.

So let’s just take a wander through this, shall we?

So you’ve decided to catch my attention with a metaphor. That’s cool. Many people do, and it often proves quite successful. Let’s see what you’ve chosen…

Ok, you’ve gone for a Native American, historical exploitation kind of theme; but with the possibility that maybe things aren’t as bleak as they seem. Due to some heretofore undisclosed or undiscovered loophole, maybe we’ve falsely interpreted one of the most recognizable acts of “civilized” white people screwing over indigenous cultures worldwide; and that by reading further, this company can teach us how maybe it’s not all that bad.

Had the tribe taken advantage of compounding interest, say 8% annually, that $24 would today be worth more than the entire real estate value of Manhattan!

Oh RIGHT, so actually, that $24 has, over the centuries, turned into… hang on.. wait… whuh? “Had the tribe…”? So, they didn’t, right? Having no knowledge of banking, investment, or money for that matter… they didn’t, choose to “take advantage of compounding interest”, aren’t enjoying the sum totalling the entire real estate value of Manhattan, and are instead sectioned off into “reserves” where they’re expected to keep quiet and not get in the way.

So, unless you want to end up like those silly, bad-decision-making Native Americans, you’d better get management training from these jackasses….

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Mr Llamatastic

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