“i am your enemy”

So i was reading an article about the competition heating up in the enterprise IT market, and i read this disturbing (to me) quote attributed to the CEO of Oracle: “The Oracle chief “basically says to all players, ‘I am your enemy,’ ” says Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com (CRM).” James Alexander, senior vice-president of Info-Tech Research Group, attributes this to the new competitiveness in the marketplace:

We had 15 years of relative peace where everyone had their own patches and you had all these wonderful camps and coalitions. Now these guys need to keep driving top-line revenues and market share, and the only way to do that is through acquisitions and getting into somebody else’s business.

Ouch. i’d hate to be one of these guys, if that was true.

But is this a true statement? “The only way to do that is… getting into somebody else’s business.”

When we teach <a href="http://www.diamondcutterinstitute.com/"Diamond Cutter Institute retreats we stress that the old worldview that the way you get ahead is by competing for limited resources is a flawed belief. Is there’s only so much oil in the world, then we have to fight over it right? If there’s only so much money to be made in enterprise computing, then we have to fight over marketshare? That’s business.

Or maybe not. If i asked you about all the wealth in the world, is it more or less than 100 years ago? What if i asked you about all the wealth that the internet seems to be generating? More or less than before?

If it’s more, where did it come from? Outer space? Maybe it was under the ground somewhere?

We say that the cause of wealth is generosity, so then if people are more generous, the world’s wealth will increase–irrespective of how much oil there is in the ground (electric cars anyone?), or how much money is currently being generated in the enterprise IT market. Anyway, how much money was being generated in the enterprise IT market 100 years ago?

So the conclusion Mr. Alexander, Mr. Benioff, and Mr. Ellison should have come to, given the competitiveness of their current marketplace, is to be more sharing, more giving, not try to grab things from their competition and declare, “i am your enemy.”

For example, when business was down in his local community, Mr. Benjamin Franklin started a chamber of commerce. If you help make other people successful, you will be successful, because it puts a seed in your mind that will ripen as you experiencing success yourself. Geshe Michael said once, if your competitor comes out with a better refrigerator, buy one yourself. Totally counter to what you would do ordinarily, right? But if you want things to be different, if you’re tired of living in a world where all your competitors have to be your enemies, where nobody has enough so they all have to fight over things, only to lose them later… if you’re tired of all that, maybe you’d like to try something different?

i’m going to. 🙂

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2 Responses to “i am your enemy”

  1. Peter Axtell says:

    I once read that the founder of Oracle, the famous Larry Ellison stated how unhappy he was that Bill Gates was number one in wealth and he was only number two. He had a few billion less than Bill. It appears that Bill Gates was Larry’s “enemy”.

    I was thinking about mental seeds and how they grow. I envisioned a mind filled with more and more enemies. I imagined my head hitting the pillow at night with more and more enemies that I had created so I could try and keep my “stuff”. I wondered how much mental energy it takes to hang on to our “stuff”.

    Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds like a hellish existence. I know some very kind people who are financially fortunate and it appears to me that there happiness stems from their kindness, not their financial situation.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like “stuff” as well (still a little too much). I’m down to about six guitars finally and I’m pretty proud of that…
    Seriously though the more I can see my stuff as just stuff, I am less hooked and definitely happier. Isn’t that what every human being wakes up every morning and wishes?

    I really does seem counterintuitive to create more and more “enemies”. How could anyone sleep well at night or have a happy state of mind with “enemies” circling the wagons.

    I hope Eric keeps writing because I for one am grateful to be inspired by this gifted teacher. He appears( to me at least) to be a pretty happy fellow. There might be something to this Diamond Cutter Institute “stuff”.
    With Gratitude,
    Peter Axtell

    • ericbrinkman says:

      dear Peter,

      thanks for the great response. Geshe Michael has been talking about it a lot lately–try to imagine all the suffering of 6 billion+ people who every day can’t get the things they want (don’t really know how) and can’t get rid of the things they don’t (enemies, pain, etc).

      it boggles the mind if you really think about it.

      so yes, i’ll keep writing, just to do my little part. 🙂


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