Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ten Ancient Mistakes V

Continuing our exploration of ancient mistakes we come to

#5 Customers are Not Relevant

This was summarized as:
Company leaders who don't listen to and respond to customer needs are facing financial disaster. Sadly, these managers believe their products are compelling; that they are well designed and correctly manufactured. They see no need to talk to potential buyers. They also see no reason to innovate to develop new offerings.
Ancient states did not have customers but they did have citizens. What happens if an ancient state says, in effect, "We don't care about the citizens." Many of them took exactly that attitude.

An interesting illustration of this is arguably the area of Syria during the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenemhet III. We have very few written records for this time and place, enough to know that Egyptians and Egyptian troops were in the area. We also know from his bloated praises of himself that Amenemhet cared mainly for himself. We have two sphinxes belonging to him that were found in the area: One from near Aleppo, and one from Ugarit. Both were smashed to pieces. That might give some idea of what Amenemhet's Syrian subjects thought of him and were able to express once he was gone from power.