What's the right balance of selfishness?

What’s the right balance of selfishness? –@EricRomer

Capitalism, almost by it’s nature, is selfish. You go out there into the world, you make a lot of money for yourself by beating out the people who compete with you. It’s your money or theirs. So it feels selfish.

But actually, as Adam Smith has shown, capitalism is the reverse. The “invisible hand” as he calls it, might be selfish. i.e. the ultimate outcome of capitalism might seem superficially selfish.

But the reality is that to stand out the most you have to 100% selfless, 0% selfish.

A) Come up with ideas that will make the world a better place, not just your house a better place.

B) Help your employees and customers succeed and flourish. This selflessness will come back to you ten times over. People will kill for you. And they will remember you 10, 20, 50 years later, when they have new deals you can participate in or new opportunities.

C) Everyone wants to contact the giver, not the taker. Be the ultimate giver and you’ll never go hungry.

So the right balance is just that: 0% selfishness. Then the entire world is yours for the taking.