Is Life Unfair?

Big news today is the move in congress to prevent the GM and Chrysler from killing off a massive number of dealerships. There’s no denying it’s a tragic situation. Those companies are fighting for their lives and trying to figure out how to exist in a new world. In GMs case it’s as a pseudo government entity though I’m not all that sure how much that word “pseudo” applies. Supposedly the mayor of Detroit called the White House and got the word that GMs headquarters would stay in Detroit. That doesn’t seem like much of a pseudo entity at all.


Beyond that, you have to feel for the dealerships, the people that work at all those dealerships and the communities they support. There are real lives that are being changed forever. Some people are going to have to move, leave places they were born, family, life-long friends and start over. That’s the destruct – construct – destruct cycle of the capitalist system. And I’m sure it feels unfair to those business owners, people that work at those dealerships and to those communities they support.


On the positive side I am absolutely sure that some of those people are going to find new careers, start new businesses, find better places to live, new friends and even new loves. They’ll look back and think that the dealership closing was the best thing that ever happened to them. Others will quit. Declare their life over and invite poverty and misery into their lives. And, of course, there will be a bunch in between those two extremes. I have lots to say on how people end up in each category but that’s really for my Psycho Cybernetics blog.


What’s important for all of us to remember is what I tell my staff all the time. You’re only security in life is the value you bring to the market. If you bring a lot of value, you are richly rewarded. Colonel Sanders brought chicken to the market that a lot of people other then me loved and he was showered with an endless amount of money. Same for Sam Walton, and Bill Gates. Same for those guys in Milwaukee, Allen and Bradley. Same for that Proctor guy that started out selling soap from a wheel barrow and that old German guy named Siemens.


I know a guy that works for an old line pump company here. They’ve been devastated in the market over the past 12 months. He’s survived 4 rounds of layoffs. Why? He’s incredibly valuable in a lot of different ways. He can program their pump controllers. He can do application support with their customers. He can write application notes. He understands the electronics of the pump controllers well enough to work with the electrical designers. He’s really valuable. He’ll be the last to go and you know what, they’ll be a lot of people who’ll want him to work for them.


Why does Real Time Automation still exist after 20 years? We bring industrial networking products and services to the market that the market has found valuable. We bring a methodology of delivering those products and designing them that fills a gap in the market that others can’t fill. It’s all about value. As long as our CIP DeviceNet, CIP EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP and all the other networking products are valuable we’ll be here to deliver that value.


So, is life unfair? Yes, sometimes it is. But ultimately each of us controls how much unfairness we experience by the amount of value we deliver. And that’s the really important lesson from the Dealership tragedies going on all over the country.