Good intentions are no guarantee of positive outcomes.

Three years ago, during a trip to Beijing, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg famously reached out to potential customers in China by conducting a public question and answer session entirely in Mandarin. Zuckerberg is by any standard a capable person, and having a Chinese speaking wife gave him a useful head start in learning this complex language, but his error-strewn effort was met with scorn. Unfair perhaps, but it was no surprise to see a public figure get a roasting for attempting something difficult and falling short.

This week Zuckerberg put his head above the parapet again, and once more he found himself under fire. His response to the damage caused to Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria was to create a cartoon version of himself and take a virtual reality tour of the devastated island.

Zuckerberg and Facebook deserve credit for the work they’ve done to support hurricane victims, but the sight of “cartoon Mark” flitting between a 360-degree view of a flooded island street and a VR image of Facebook’s California offices drew its own flood, of angry criticism.

There’s ample evidence of Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropy, but for many people this latest incident showed a disconnect from the reality of how people live their lives and cope with problems. Zuckerberg himself has expressed a preference for virtual reality over the real world problems we all have to face. Again, that certainly doesn’t make him a bad person but for most employers, even those at the cutting edge of technical development, dealing with these everyday problems is part of the routine. For employers who go out of their way to help their people resolve issues it’s not a chore but something to be proud of. Actual reality – working hard every day to create a positive, supportive environment where people can thrive – is actually pretty terrific.

At Jane Systems we’re proud to work hand in glove with public and private sector leaders who take every opportunity to make their people’s lives more satisfying and enjoyable. We’re proud to make our contribution with software that brings people and departments closer together, gives employees satisfaction in their career paths and gives managers more time to manage.

At Jane Systems we keep abreast of VR developments – and all technical advances – but as our customers know, we focus on adding value to your actual reality.

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