‘Please,’ said Mr. Al-Rahman, when they finally caught up with him, ‘explain to me clearly what you can do for my business.’
‘Right,’ said Guy, trying to concentrate. ‘A question for you, sir. Do you think your employees are living the Al-Rahman brand in a holistic way? What does Al-Rahman actually stand for?’
‘We are a very old family, Mr. Swift.’
‘Sure, sure. But you know, at the moment Al-Rahman stands for—well, for golf. And that’s it. Golf is great, don’t get me wrong. But is it really something your people can get behind? At Tomorrow*, my team came up with a kind of banner heading about where we feel your company is at now. We think of you as “the faithful.” We have this great animation for the concept. You see this guy hitting a hole in one and it says in, like, your traditional Arabic calligraphy style, “There is no game but golf and Al-Rahman is its prophet.” ‘
There was a silence. Guy tried to fill it.
—Hari Kunzru, Transmission, page 171 of 2004 hardcover edition
For a book about failure in multiple dimensions, Transmission is kind of a success to read.