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If you win by cheating, everybody loses!

This title is not just another way of saying: “what goes around comes around,” it is also about trust. 

When you cheat to win, you erode trust. And when trust gets eroded, we enter a race to the bottom. Who can cheat more and get away with it? Instead of who can do better? It gets worse and worse.

Sportsmanship is a long term bet. When we choose to follow the rules, to respect the players, to make better things, we enter into a race to the top because we create systems based on trust. 

Clickbait titles work, once. You got our attention, but instead of building trust, you wasted our time to increase your visitor metrics. 

Building a monopoly seems to work as you acquire more and more market share. But the cost is stagnation and a loss of resilience. It is not the same when the customers choose you because they like you or they “choose you” because they no longer have a choice. 

Winning can be a charged word because it implies competition, and it implies a looser. But it can also be an invitation to create win-win situations. And those usually show up when you play the long game when you don’t sacrifice trust for a “quick win at all costs.” 

We all do better in systems where we build trust. We all win :).

(credit: ideas inspired by Seth Godin)