Irrational Exuberance!

Startups and Assembly Lines

September 5, 2008 After reading George Lakoff's Don't Think of an Elephant I spent a long time trying to apply his idea of framing to my own life. One deeply rooted but flawed mental model that kept occurring to me was that of "businesses as assembly lines." Beyond the dubious morality of treating workers as cogs, this assembly line frame also encourages excess production as Good, and profit as God. Worse yet, the model erroneously conflates profit with utility, and leaves us all worse off for it.