Zuckerberg and the rice playpen

As I write this I’m standing in what used to be a seed, or maybe rice, playpen at a local indoor play centre.

Used to be, because this last week they’ve removed the seed/rice and left the floor in this playpen bare like the other areas in the centre. Apparently the upkeep of that one playpen resulted in a whole extra staff member, so the seed pen just wasn’t good for business. They’re now saving a wage, and the business plan

It was good for play, though. My three year old was very worried about its absence, and honestly, it was the main drawcard for this play centre. I’ve never seen it empty, and every toddler in the room desperately wanted to run their fingers through the hundreds of kilograms of other-kid-germ-infected seed. The seeded play pen was good for so many things, just apparently not for business.

This, seemingly, is the art of business. What can I add to my vehicle driving toward our North Star that makes the product or service more valuable, more desirable, more wanted. What can I take away that would not detract from those same elements.

How can we be driving towards our North Star with the least amount of baggage, and the most amount of joy and soul intact?

I wonder if letting that staff member go and removing the rice increased joy, soul, satisfaction in the play centre?

Which makes me think of this line from Mark Zuckerberg of Meta/Facebook/the metaverse this week:

“Our north star is can we get a billion people into the metaverse doing hundreds of dollars a piece in digital commerce by the end of the decade? If we do that, we’ll build a business that is as big as our current ad business within this decade. I think that’s a really exciting thing. I think a big part of how you do that is by pushing the open metaverse forward, which is what we’re going to do.”

What a soulless and boring North Star. Get back to me when your metaverse has a germ-ridden rice pen, Zuck.