Reputation Over Revenue

Speaking at a Startup@Berkeley mixer in 2009, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus admitted to breaking every ethical rulebook to focus on revenue. It might seem like a change of heart thus when he started blaming middlemen for their questionable practices, one of which was offering poker chips for a toolbar that, Pincus said himself, “couldn’t get rid of it.”

Pincus may just be one of many entrepreneurs willing to go in the red in exchange for several thumbs up. In 2013, a joint study by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the American Institute of CPAs found out that 76 percent of financial bigwigs invested in cred in exchange for loss in profit.

One good example is pharmacy giant CVS, which last February announced that it would no longer sell tobacco products. Experts estimated the loss for such a decision to be nearly $2 billion, but the company got President Obama’s seal of approval. It’s not every day that your business gets that praise.

Consumers are more aware about business practices than ever. They’re more likely to see through a business’s revenue generation practices and thumb them down as they see fit. If your business hasn’t gotten into the ethical bandwagon yet, it’s best that you do so before it leaves you behind.


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