Lately, I’ve been a part of several conversations that have let me to ask a question that keeps coming up again and again. Is life a zero sum game?

Unless you’ve been under a rock or offline completely for the last couple of weeks, you’ve no doubt heard (perhaps ad nauseum) about the emergence of Google+. Article after article. Blog post after blog post. Google+ post after Google+ post. Tweet after Tweet. Facebook post after Facebook post. It’s all the same – can Google take on Facebook?

Why are we so obsessed with this? Can’t they both exist simultaneously and let people choose how they participate, or not?

ZeroSide note: just imagine what we could do with the energy that has been put into this discussion from so many people around the world if we were able to redirect it to something more meaningful. What global problems could we address and perhaps solve?

In business, if one of your ‘competitors’ comes out with a product or service, does that mean that they are by definition taking opportunities that might be available to you or your company?

If you refer business to someone else, do you need to take a cut of it, or can you just make the connections when they are right and let productive relationships develop without you directly receiving something from the transaction?

If someone writes something truly remarkable, does that mean that other writers who might have similar thoughts are going to lose out if they didn’t get there first?

Is life really a zero sum game?

On the other hand, can we each create and produce our very best work while connecting with the people and clients that are right for us without having to take something from someone else?

What do you think of this idea of the zero sum game?