BOSS OF THE BOARDWALK
Chances are if you’ve played me one-on-one in Monopoly, you know that I’m one heartless SOB. I don’t care if you land on Baltic or Pennsylvania, I want those dollar bills. Even the meaningless $1 bills feel so crisp and clean in my stack of cash. And trust that if you land on my houses or hotels and don’t have the money, I’ll offer you one of three things: (1) give me several properties, (2) go bankrupt (and bow down) or (3) let’s get creative (I can’t give away all of my secrets.) Even my girlfriend will tell you that love went out the window after the first roll of the dice.
Of course, there is a strategy to becoming the Boss of the Boardwalk, especially when playing with more than one opponent. Look at it this way: If you saw me bullying the other players, would you want to cooperate or do business with me? Probably not. Who wants to work with a jerk?For that reason, and that reason alone, in a multiplayer space, it’s key that you give as much as you take. Let up on the guy left with only a few dollars. Give him a free ride on your property. Throw in a utility with your trade to make him feel good about himself. Really fluff his ego… Maybe it goes against the original game rules, but this is my business world, and I can run it however I want.
For as much as it’s difficult to hold back from steamrolling my opponents, a little goodwill goes a long way. The same rule applies in real world business. A perfect example is Panera Bread’s non-profit initiative, Panera Cares. You order just like a normal Panera Bread, but instead of paying a set price for your meal, Panera Cares asks for a monetary donation. Panera Cares are popping up in lower-income, high-unemployment areas including Dearborn, MI (11.1% unemployment) and Portland, OR (6.2% unemployment.) An amazing stat in the following video: 1 of every 5 people donates more than is suggested, making up for the smaller donations of others, so Panera Cares really breaks even.
What’s more, Panera Bread doesn’t just break even; they come out ahead of the game. Who’s going to forget the company that purposely opened up fully functioning store fronts to feed those in need? Just like Monopoly, Panera is throwing the less fortunate a much needed bone, ultimately establishing themselves as a real Boss of the Boardwalk.