What happens when ‘success’ brings unintended consequences? You might just find yourself in a sticky situation. Most of life exists in varying shades of grey, but it is so much easier to plan for black and white. If this, then that. Make the rules and stick to them.
My ‘bring’ to the table this week was an article in Inc. Magazine about the conundrum facing Etsy in the wake of its success. Etsy was founded as a grassroots marketplace for homespun goods- a brilliant idea that sounds simple at first. Say you just love knitting scarves and your friends all say “you should sell these!” so you set up an Etsy shop and, voila, other people love your scarves, too. But what if a hundred orders come in and you just can’t knit that fast? Can you hire your sister across town to help out? What if she lives across the country instead? Or what if it’s a friend, or a friend of a friend? Or maybe you have so many orders for your super special hand knit scarves that you have to hire a small team of knitters, or maybe a large team? Should you still be able to sell your scarves on Etsy? Is it no longer in keeping with the spirit of the site? But if you have to leave the platform, will you still be as successful or will you disappear into the ethers of the internet? And if Etsy makes its money by taking a cut, does it make business sense to force out your most successful sellers? Should you both be essentially punished for making it big? But if the ‘big’ guys get to stay on Etsy does it become just another Amazon? Argh!! So NOT black and white!
Somehow this whole thing morphed into a conversation about drug testing. Seems totally unrelated…but wait! As marijuana legalization, even for recreational use, spreads, we are faced with another sticky situation. Unlike alcohol, THC stays in your blood stream much longer than the ‘high’, so how do we determine a DUI? Even the breath test for drinking is a bit of a sticky situation. We know that .08% blood alcohol content is the legal limit but do any of us know exactly what that feels like? I have a friend who was the designated driver, had one drink all night long, got pulled over and barely passed the breath test. She didn’t feel impaired, but being a small woman, her blood was over the limit, where as the man with her who had been drinking all night, passed fine and the cops made him drive home instead. Or what about being really tired or getting old? Do we have a standard for that? If our intention is to keep our roads safe, perhaps we need to measure ability instead. Maybe a video game to test reflexes, eyesight, and competence? As someone pointed out, stoners can be really good at video games…and once again, we are firmly planted in sticky grey territory.
Written by Natasha Juliana. Super cool matchbox car scarf by Barry Stump’s mom.