An innate understanding of ROI

I think humans have an innate concept of many business concepts. For example, “return on investment”. Business schools will complicate the idea of ROI in any number of creative ways, as they do many concepts. I once saw an accounting professor confuse an entire room of college students on the topic of averaging numbers with an overly complicated formula and greek symbols.

Let’s imagine that you are dropped into a fictional time in the past, in a Rousseau-ish land of humans who lie around all day, plucking fruit from trees when they are hungry. Rousseau calls your fellow humans “noble savages”.

You look to your left, and see a savage MBA sitting, calculating how many calories they use per day, how many calories are contained in a piece of fruit, and how many calories they can allocate to climbing a particular tree to allow them to meet their caloric needs with a certain number of minutes spent gathering fruit each day…

…then you look right and see a tree whose branches have sunk low to the ground, heavy with fruit, and you walk over, and (savagely) grab a piece, because you don’t feel like climbing up and down the same tree all day. Return on investment.

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