Aside: Businesses are not a hive-mind

Something common you’ll hear in response to news: “Can you believe what [business] did?”.

For example, Intel recently pulled an ad campaign from Gamasutra due to some internet drama. On my Facebook feed, there was a lot of discussion over “what an immoral company!” and “how could the marketing department at such a big company make a PR mistake like that?”. The specific example doesn’t matter; this sort of discussion happens a lot.

The thing is, businesses aren’t a big hive-mind. Most decisions are made by an individual or a small team of people. To continue with the above example, Intel has over 100,000 employees. Out of 100k people, odds are that 99,990 of them (literally 99.99%) had nothing to do with any given company decision.

Theoretically, our reaction should be “Can you believe what some guy who works at [business] did?”, but it isn’t. For better or worse, we tend to think of businesses as a singular entity. I personally find this both fascinating and terrifying.

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