Andrew, Scott, and Jonas all worked for Mr. Sanmiser. Mr. Sanmiser was a cold-hearted miser. He made his fortune by meticulously analyzing every element of every investment he ever made. Everything to him was a statistic. He was known on Wall Street for almost always investing in “sure things.” He had made 100 million because he had what economists called a “long view.” He had seen others invest heavily in microchips in the 1990s, but he also noticed that microchips only made money by pushing the component parts closer and closer together. He realized long before anyone else that eventually these microchips would overheat, and he began research into this new field. He made millions with his findings and eventually, last year, he had had a billion dollars to his name.
But Mr. Sanmiser had to make a trip to London, and so he got his three most trusted aides to come into his office.
“I have to make a trip to London,” he said quietly. “Andrew, you are to manage the software department this week while I am gone, Scott, you are to manage the web design department, and Jonas, you are to make sure our investments in the MRI equipment are sound.”
And with that he left.
Andrew went at work at once to sell the software. Their newest prodcut had to compete with top sellers like Adobe and Microsoft. He knew that their competitors were going to be putting out similar products, and so he put out a fake press release that said Bill Gates was having an affair and was having heart trouble. By the time Gates had come out to clear the debacle, stocks at microsoft had gone down and Mr. Sanmiser’s software stock had cone up.
Scott also knew that in order to sell their web pages over others, they would have to supply the cheapest web pages possible. He called up some contacts in India and gave the work to them so that their prices would be lower than American workers doing the same work. Scott heard that the amount his Indian contacts were paying the web designers could hardly feed one family, but he went ahead nonetheless.
Jonas, however, was in a bind. He knew that in order to make money on the MRI’s he would have to lie a few hospitals and not mention some of the defects that their producers had warned them about. Because Jonas mentioned these things to the hospitals who wanted to buy the MRI equipment, the stock for the MRI equipment stayed the same as it had the day before. Jonas had made no money at all.
When Mr. Sanmiser returned he quickly gave bonuses to Andrew and Scott. They had made money for the company, but called Jonas into his office when he found out that the MRI sales had flattened.
“What the hell happened to my MRIs?” Mr. Sanmiser asked angrily.
“Sir, I know that you are a hard man. I know that you will do anything to make your money, but I can’t hide the fact that the MRIs have some major problems.”
“You’re a salesmen, Jonas. You are supposed to SELL products, not go on and on about the risks of a product.”
“I know, Sir, but will all due respect….”
“You want to talk to me about respect? You want to know if I am a hard man? How about this for hard. Get out of my office and clear you things. You knew that I was a hard man? Then should have played hard ball and put my money to good use. You get out of my office and take your effects and walk right out that door. Your jobs goes to Andrew. At least he will sell my products!”
Mr. Sanmiser’s face did not change. He felt no remorse. He simply stared at Jonas until he walked out of the room and down the stairs to his office. He cleared his things and he was gone.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.