Monday, June 6, 2011

So, Is a Little Evil Okay?

This was the year I chose three words to follow -- caring, integrity, and joy. So how have I been doing? Well . . .

I blew it -- and I got caught. Last week Ike Pigott posted on Twitter: "So much for Google's "Don't Be Evil" mantra (Google deals dirty with PayPal)", referring to PayPal suing Google over Google's new mobile payment system. And, being in a snarky mood, I posted back "PayPal (& eBay) have done so much evil in the past (& still do), I don't care if Google deals dirty with them." To which Ike responded "Are you really saying it's okay to engage in unethical behavior because of who you're sticking it to?"

Oops -- no, of course that's not what I meant [and I did respond "I suppose when you put it that way, no. If good, you should always take the high road (even if I hate PayPal)"]. The end does not justify the means. Being a little bit evil is like being a little bit pregnant. You can't pick and choose when it's okay to be evil or when you should be ethical.

This leads to the next question. Does posting something on Twitter really matter that much? Yes, it does. If I'm supposed to be standing for something (integrity), then that means that I need to stand for it all the time. If it's a part of me, then it has to be a part of me all the time. And just because I want to sound "cute" on Twitter and "play" with the big boys, is no excuse. Nor is, but I really like Google and don't want to think of them as being evil.

So, Ike, thanks for catching me out. I'll try to do better.