What is the goal of a business?

Recently I was part of a discussion about the “purpose of business”>

 

What is the goal of a business?

 

Most people in the discussion automatically answered “To make money” as if it were a self-evident truth.

 

A few said “No! The goal isn’t to make money. It is to be fulfilled and happy” which sounded just as empty and unsatisfying to me as “To make money”.

 

In my own experience there goal of business is to “respond to the needs of others with passion and enthusiasm”. When I do that, money and fulfillment and happiness seem to be wonderful lasting side-effects. 

 

Responding to needs is also very different from opportunistically reacting to wants. Needs are not always wants and wants are often not needs!

 

I do not believe a successful business both in terms of fulfilment and money, can be sustainable if it is a want-reactive business; it has to be a need-responsive business, which involves non-collusive dialogue with customers; it cannot easily be planned, it is emergent and essentially creative, changing with the infinite changes in human thinking, feeling and doing.

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