Entire businesses are based merely on stock market trades. Some people even sit in front of a computer screen all day and do nothing but trade stock… as in, that’s their job. Many of them sit in front of seven computer screens. Imagine that, the computer on your desk, not with one monitor, not two, but seven…
Once a company goes public, and starts trading shares on a public stock exchange, that company hasn’t merely changed the way it’s administration and ownership are structured. It actually entered a second business market.
Imagine McDonald’s realizing that it’s not so much in the restaurant and “supersize me” food business as much as it is in the real estate business. That realization hit us all when McDonald’s got more real estate than the Roman Catholic Church! And the Roman Catholic Church is in the real estate business as well. Any brick and mortar organization is in the real estate business, whether they promote themselves as such or not. In fact, everyone who owns land is in the real estate business, for that matter.
Just the same, any company that sells shares on the stock market is in the second business of selling stocks. Is that alright? It may seem okay on the surface. But think…
The way to earn success on the stock market is not the same way to earn success as a local business. Profiting from stock prices heavily depends on following the same academic script that told the world to invest in ENRON. You have to make bean counters say good things about you on TV. The pundits better not carry a grudge against any of your employees. And you’d better hope terrorists don’t attack either. Public panic could cause a stampede, then you’ve got more than your customers to worry about. You’re also in the “business” of placating to the demands of union bosses. One “strike” and you’re out!
You could lose a lost of dough if your gourmet bakery deviates from the recipe MBA columnists are indoctrinated with.
Being a poster boy company on the stock market means following the culture trends, like class elections in the popularity contest of high school. Yes, “Facebook likes” have equal value on both Wall Street and at the junior high dance. You don’t need to actually make money, smell the coming changes in economies, and know what trails to blaze as a pioneer doing what no one’s written a book about yet.
MBA’s don’t have the spirit of entrepreneurialism, by definition. If they did, they would have taken the drop-out rout of Gates and Jobs and not needed grad school, let alone had the time for it. Academians either think paperwork = experience or they don’t last long in the world of academia. Once you enter the stock market, you need to appear competent to people who aren’t competent in actually creating a successful business from the ground up. That’s scary… At least it should be. The scarier part is, it’s not scary to most people, especially people who buy and sell stocks. I’m sure you’ve heard of the story of the Wall Street big shot who bailed days before the ’29 crash after getting trading tips from his shoeshine boy.
In other words, being in business with the stock market and being in business with a real enterprise can’t not be in conflict with each other. If you don’t do things the way GM does them, your shares fall. If you do things the way GM does them, your business falls like GM’s business.
Ever since Facebook got into the stock trading business, they’re no longer 100% focused on delivering good social media. Now, Facebook is expected to offer loads of advertising space to companies like GM who need poster ads, since GM’s reputation seems no longer good enough to sell cars on its own—and since GM downsized many of its own customers, probably in an effort to make the accountant columnists on Wall Street say good things about their prospectus. If Facebook doesn’t blast us with ads, GM executives talk smack about Facebook on TV and Twitter… and Facebook’s stock value falls. If Facebook listens to GM and the indoctrinated-inexperienced accountants and MBA’s then we, the people, get sick of it and delete our Facebook profiles. “Face” it, Facebook never stood a chance after going public. They were the public, until they went public.
So, if you want in the stock market, it’s best to do the stock market only. Buy seven computer monitors and get the super-fancy-souped-up Scottrade account, if you like. But, if you’re not going that rout, it’s probably best to stick to your original business and not create “conflict” unnecessarily.