Ethics and Building Your Online Business

In Seth Godin’s post today he touched on ethics in our increasingly transparent world. I’ve had issues for years with people who believe that “business is Business” and that they can be unethical in their business dealings and still be ethical.

One of my favorite books on this issue was “There’s no Such Thing as Business Ethics” by John C. Maxwell. Several people commented when they saw the title because many people believe that you can live your life in two parts. Then I had to explain to them that the point of the books was that there are only ethics, period. There aren’t personal ethics and business ethics.

Now with the increasing transparency of the internet it is becoming harder for people to hide:

“The Net enlarges the public sphere and shrinks the private one. And black hats require the private sphere to exist and thrive. More light = more success for the ethical players.”

The news is filled with stories of businesses who have tried to manipulate online social and video networks and have received far more backlash from their efforts than they ever could have received from the initial efforts.

I believe that in today’s increasingly transparent business climate those that provide real honest value will win in the long run. What are your thoughts?

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Comments

  1. George Lane says

    Or on the other hand, is the internet and social media just exposing 3rd rate propaganda for what it really is, while the really clever scallywags continue to manipulate the public?

    IMHO, bad propaganda looks like propaganda – Whereas good propaganda presents itself as news/art/trends etc.

    Bad deception quickly gets exposed as deception – But wolves of grand, elegant and elaborate deception may shroud themselves in the sheeps clothing of ethics to avoid detection.

    Or maybe I’m just a beaten up, cynical old Brit 😉

    Keep up the posts mate,

    George

  2. George Lane says

    Or on the other hand, is the internet and social media just exposing 3rd rate propaganda for what it really is, while the really clever scallywags continue to manipulate the public?

    IMHO, bad propaganda looks like propaganda – Whereas good propaganda presents itself as news/art/trends etc.

    Bad deception quickly gets exposed as deception – But wolves of grand, elegant and elaborate deception may shroud themselves in the sheeps clothing of ethics to avoid detection.

    Or maybe I’m just a beaten up, cynical old Brit 😉

    Keep up the posts mate,

    George

  3. says

    Hey, just found you through google, looking forward to more of your posts. I have been running my own home business blog for a while now, and I am always looking for any information that will help me along in my own pursuit of internet independence. Please feel free to critique in any way. I guess the (customary) great site stuff goes here, but it doesnt always seem to be welcome any more.

  4. says

    Hey, just found you through google, looking forward to more of your posts. I have been running my own home business blog for a while now, and I am always looking for any information that will help me along in my own pursuit of internet independence. Please feel free to critique in any way. I guess the (customary) great site stuff goes here, but it doesnt always seem to be welcome any more.