The Internet Lightning Rod

A small Houston gardening company just got  a lesson about the power of individuals and the Internet. Garden Guy chooses not to do business with homosexuals and said so in an email to a prospective client. There was nothing belligerent or angry about the email, but the client didn’t take it kindly and forwarded it to several of his friends. Soon it was all over the net and the Garden Guy website was flooded with posts to its message board as well as personal emails to the owners.

As a business, you have the right to work with whomever you choose for whatever reasons you choose. In this  case, I feel for the business because they said as much in their email in the nicest way possible but still got burned. Should they have made up a different excuse? At least they were open and honest.

What may have made things worse is the company also has a specific anti-gay marraige message on the website with a link to another anti-gay marraige website. It’s a big mistake to promote or put forth in any way a social or political adgenda on a company website. No matter what kind of stand you take, there is surely somebody who will take office. Business is business and should not mix with political or social issues. Imagine, a single email to a single individual. Within hours or a day it becomes national news. That can be a very good thing for a company, or a very bad thing.

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