“That’s…so small”


At a dinner party in Zurich a few years ago the host asked me about what I was working on. I told her about billing and all of the inefficiencies that existed and what a great team we had assembled to solve them. I gave her an animated description of what we had planned. I was excited, nerdy. When I was done she paused. It seemed like a minute but it couldn’t have been more than a few seconds. Then she said, “But that’s…so small.”

I get it. Billing does seem really small. The host and her husband are architects. They build beautiful spaces for people to come together and create new experiences. They’re co-creators of those experiences. I admire what they do. It’s physically, psychologically and sociologically big.

Billing may not sound like something that would fire up one’s imagination. It certainly didn’t for my host.

For us, a transaction isn’t really small even though it looks that way at first glance. We see it as out of proportion to almost anything else that comes before or after. It’s where you can actually witness Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” at work. It’s the go, no-go decision. It’s the contact that causes the friction that moves the world.

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