Doing the right thing, is always the right thing. That’s what many people including entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk preaches. We should always find the right thing to do and then do that right thing. That’s the right thing. The opposite of that is doing the wrong thing is always the wrong thing.
But life is such a complex experience. Right and wrong are such concrete things. Life isn’t only black and white but rather a spectrum of colors and grayscale. So sometimes there are multiple right things. Sometimes the wrong thing is a very situational decision. That makes things more complicated. It begs an answer to what seems like a simple question. Is it ever right to do the wrong thing?(And vice versa)
Here’s my thoughts answer to those questions.
One year in college my friend introduced me to this super enticing new game called Flappy Bird. It was a simple one tap game that was super difficult and extraordinarily addictive. Everyone on campus was playing the game and bragging about their high scores. Later I read an article about how the game was pulling in an estimated $80,000 a day.
Let’s just say I was inspired. Not to play the game but to build one. My best friends and I dedicated our summer in college to working on building this app. We teamed up with two local app developers and promising developer from out of state. He flew in for the summer and spent almost three months working with us on the app.
It was exciting and one of my first true collaborative business experiences. But I had much to learn. Towards the end of the development of the app, a multiplayer version of the wildy popular game, the developers jumped ship. They felt confident they didn’t need me and my friends who were focused on design, marketing, and business. They cut us off and left us hanging to launch the app idea on their own.
This all happened within the span of a week and the day before physical contractual agreements were supposed to be signed. We got burned. I was never in a situation of conflict with business before so I just wanted to do the right thing. I asked around for advice on the right thing to do.
That’s when things got questionable. Some people said, it’s your idea don’t let them steal it. Go to a lawyer and demand they cough up the development work they did on the app. Others said, it’s their code you can’t do anything except demand they don’t launch your app idea. Some others said just walk away and cut your losses, never speak to them again.
There were so many right decisions. It took lots of time and thought on what was the actual right thing to do. I ended up deciding in my heart the right thing to do was to walk away with my pride and dignity while wishing them the best. That’s what we did. But to this day, many people will say we did the wrong thing. And that’s fine.
That’s my answer to this question. It’s always right to do the wrong thing, if it’s the right thing to you. There will always be many different points of view and many different camps of people. They will all have their own vision of what the “right thing” is to do. It doesn’t matter. The only person’s opinion that matters is your own… is my own. The same goes for the opposite as well. It’s always wrong to do the right thing, if it’s the wrong thing to you.