Jack the Bean Counter

Once upon a time there was a boy named Jack who loved to count his beans. There were big beans, little beans, red beans, green beans, he did not care to sort them, as he only cared about how many beans he had. All of these beans he stored in a big barrel, and on this day he had exactly 10,676 beans.

Then one day a gardener came to town. He told Jack that he would buy all his green beans, big or little, for two cents a piece. But Jack had no idea of how many green beans he had, he had never sorted his beans and so he found a small bag and counted out 100 green beans. This left him with exactly 10,576 beans.

As the gardener paid the two dollars, Jack asked, “Are you a bean counter too?” To which the gardener said, “No, I will plant these beans and watch them multiply.”

“Multiply?” Jack had never thought of that. He looked at his two dollars and his barrel of beans and became so excited that he accidently spilled his barrel of beans revealing so many more green beans that he could have sold.

On that day he started to sort his beans into different barrels.

The Moral of this fable: Spilling your beans often reveals more opportunities than regrets.

NOTE: In the business world of beans, beans could be considered to be data; if your data is all in the same barrel with no way to categorize it or utilize it to glean some business value, how does the company expect to grow?