Softbank's 300 year vision for making Sprint customers happy
Softbank has, well, a 300-year plan, some small details of which have fallen into my lap. The plan talks of death, loneliness, despair and, yes, happiness.
As you struggle through your life, you're just happy when your toilet flushes, your shoes don't wear out, and your phone works. You don't imagine for a moment that the companies behind these products aren't merely thinking commercially, but existentially.
You don't imagine that they're not just trying to sell you a product -- they're actually trying to lift your spirits. They're trying to make you forget loneliness, despair, and even death.
This is also, indeed, one of the more remarkable corporate documents I have ever read. For it wraps Softbank's large, kind hands around humanity and looks forward 300 years.
How do I know this? Because it actually says: "This vision is designed with the time span of 300 years."
There will be those, embittered by the presence of Monday, who will mutter that it will take 300 years to make Sprint customers happy. I myself was once a Sprint customer and was disappointed with the service. When I ended my contract early, the troubled lady from Sprint asked me why.
I explained that I thought the service wasn't all that. Her next question: "Well, would you like to pass your service onto someone else?"
Softbank, if this vision document is anything to go by, is determined to get to the bottom of people's wants and needs.
It begins by explaining that the company "works to make people happy through information revolution."
You've heard this sappy happy-clappy stuff from Steve Jobs over the years. But you haven't heard it phrased like this: "Softbank works to comfort people in their sorrow."
Yes, if you lose a limb, a lover and parent all in the same month, Softbank will be there. Well, that is my hopeful interpretation.
The document, you see, begins to delve into what makes people miserable. "What would be the saddest thing in your life?" it asks.
An appropriate answer might be: "The Yankees win the World Series."
However, Softbank wants to dig deeper. It displays a chart that lists the world's top causes of death in Japan. (Cardiac disease, cancer, and apoplexy are apparently the top 3 -- yes, apoplexy.)
But the rising threat appears to be loneliness. Indeed, the document makes the very bald statement: "The saddest thing in people's life is loneliness."
And this, presumably, is where Softbank and Sprint will come into save the day -- or even your life. The new Software-Sprint partnership may even take some of the weight off Obamacare.
So when you're down and troubled and you need a helping hand and nothing, whoa, nothing is going right, close your eyes and think of Softbank, and soon it will be there -- to brighten up even your darkest nights.
(With hope for all Sprint customers and apologies to Carole King and James Taylor.)