What’s the purpose of a-SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!


I went into PC World last week to help make them into a business.

I was going to do this by making myself into a customer of theirs. Until that happens, PC World is not a business, it is just a large warehouse with loads of cheap electrical stuff stored inside, like a rubbish museum.

Let me explain…

The purpose of a business is to create a customer

A little quoted character in this blog, Drucker, said this and explains further…

There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer. The customer is a foundation of a business and keeps it in existence. The customer alone gives employment. And it is to supply the customer that society entrusts wealth-producing resources to the business enterprise.


That is what PC World is for. To make me into a customer. I went to their shop,walked inside, found the thing i wanted to buy….and they didn’t make me into a customer.

They didn’t take my money off me, they didn’t give me the thing i wanted, they instead took my name and said that there was a bit of wait until they could serve me!
Yes, i was put on a list to become a customer!!

Turns out they don’t employ enough staff to sell people things and turn them into customers. I waited, like the idiot i am, for about 20 minutes for the privilege of becoming a customer of PC World. Turns out I’m not the only one, as i researched on Twitter in my interminable wait…

Buying HDMI cables and iPods and moving them to huge out of town warehouses does NOT make a business. Selling me things and me giving them money, that makes a business.

A large museum dedicated to the death of rubbish shops

When PC World forgot to make very sure indeed that they actually carried out that final link in the chain, selling stuff, they forgot to carry out their actual purpose-making customers.

This is the same as a lot of other organisations who forget to actually carry out their purpose, especially in the public sector. I was a customer in the private sector waving money at a company who didn’t want to take it. Imagine instead I was facing public sector indifference? I have no money to give, but instead a problem I need help solving, what do public sector organisations often do instead of helping me?

In Adult Social Care an enormous amount of time and money is spent on assessing and referring people, but surprisingly little on helping vulnerable people live the life they want to lead.

In Housing Benefits an enormous amount of time and money is spent on sending people letters asking them to send documents in, and surprisingly little time is spent on helping people claim the benefit they are entitled to.

In Planning departments an enormous amount of time and money is spent on sparring with planning applicants on their ability to fill in a form correctly, and surprisingly little time is spent on helping people make good decisions on developing their property.

It is ALMOST AS IF it is possible for an organisation to entirely forget their actual purpose, i.e. you.

Never mind, you could always measure customer satisfaction couldn’t you? Cos that would tell you if….err….never mind.

EITHER 95% of 303 PC World customers are idiots OR measuring customer satisfaction like this tells you bugger all


This entry was posted in command and control, customer, systems thinking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to What’s the purpose of a-SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

  1. Frank says:

    Customer service has also gone out of the window. No one wants to help customers now and if you’re lucky you might get some robotic response to the effect that they cannot help you.

    It’s all very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jaqueslecont says:


    This reminds me of one of my favourite activities/ Every time I go through an airport with one of those happy push button thingies, I make sure to press the happiest and the saddest button together.

    I’d LOVE to go into one of the meetings they surely have to discuss these things.

    Big mean boss:

    “Okay everyone, happy faces are down by 0.6% this month. Explain yourselves.”

    Scared employees:

    “Oh, it’s a seasonal thing. A scanner was down. There was no free whisky in departures. It rained and there were traffic problems.”

    Big mean boss:

    “Okay. But I’m setting us a stretch target to be get 10% more green faces next month.”

    Scared employees:

    “Okay boss” (secretly planning to hit the green face button personally 10,000 times each morning)


  3. Mr B says:

    This really chimes with an experience with scottish power last night, they keep telling me they don’t want me to leave them and yet I know their automated phone system starts telling me the are experiencing an unusually high volume of calls after I have been on hold for a specified period of time. Really! on a Thursday night at 20:00? So if this really is the case, they need to measure their demand don’t they, otherwise they lose business. Virgin are the same, even when you want to give them money, they are hopeless, pass you through departments and then drop the call.


    • ThinkPurpose says:

      its odd cos staff are told that businesses have to be “more competitive” hence endless stupidities like timed toilet breaks etc, but i would ask competitive with WHO? if theyre all rubbish then it doesnt matter does it? if there is ONE that is great, then sure you need to compete, but if EVERYBODY is total balls, then to the customer there is no difference and no obvious competing?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. the cubicle philosopher says:

    Yes, in general, I would say that many companies say the customer comes first, at least that is what they claim on ads etc, but in actual practice they treat us terribly. For the customer (ie. me), this creates terrible resentment because I do actually need to go into these places to purchase the items I need. So it becomes this compounded negative experience, I hate them and I hate myself for being there…On the other hand, I do often deal with companies that provide a positive experience. I find that I am very loyal to those places because although they may not be the ‘cheapest’ places to go, the experience is so pleasant that I keep interacting with those companies.


    • ThinkPurpose says:

      resentment! thats a good word, thats what i felt. I was there but i didnt want to be. And i wish I’d bought it from Amazon a day earlier instead of rushing around to wait in a shop like a fool.


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