Go-To-Market is Broken, because Markets are broken

Karthiga Ratnam
3 min readMay 10, 2023


My claim is that we do not have a market economy, but a capitalist economy — David Korten

As economies falter, companies are embracing efficient growth and seeking refuge in “fixing” their Go-To-Market (GTM).

Yes GTM has shifted the focus from the problem being at a functional level (marketing, sales, product) and to a more organizational-wide issue. But the premise remains the same. Organizations are finding it difficult to grow at a scale and magnitude that they are used to. And yes it's a brave new world of efficient growth and not growth at all costs. This is great.


…isn’t efficient growth just an adage for growth at all costs?

Photo by cottonbro studio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photo-of-eggs-on-a-tray-7696511/

Hear me out. Let’s start with the metrics that are measured — NRR, GRR, and ARR. Ok cool, focus more on retention than acquisition, step in the right direction for sure. But what’s the point? If your employees are unhappy, have a poor quality of life, and are living paycheck to paycheck, can that be considered efficient growth?

The problem with individuals, departments, or strategies, surely plays a part too, but we have moved beyond that. The problem is with “markets”. The current so-called market economy is built to extract and exploit. To extract and exploit workers, society, and ultimately the planet.

Markets in their current evolution are built to focus on the good of the few over the good of the many.

Case and point, who cares if social media destroys the very fabric of society as we know it, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and others have proven the American dream is real. You too can become a billionaire! And that makes it all ok right? Long live the capitalist dream!

Markets by definition are either or. Profit or loss, Win or Lose. There is no middle ground. Markets are built on human greed. On our need to have more not less. But in focusing on what a few individuals need we have forgotten a fundamental tenant of society.

What’s good for society will always be good for individuals, not the other way around. Society doesn’t live for us, we live for society. How can markets that benefit so few be considered good for society?

How is it efficient growth if your employees are being laid off, worried about healthcare, can’t make their mortgage payments, and can’t afford education for their children?

How is it efficient growth when there is no pay parity and equal pay for equal work is an extremely prevalent problem?

Sure you are focusing on “fixing” your GTM, you are focusing on retention, your company is worth more, you sell it and make a bucket load of money, where is the social good? You will argue you created jobs, sure you did, and you laid off your employees the moment your “efficient growth” numbers were affected.

The problem isn’t one person, the problem is that we have all subscribed to this mindset that what's happening is ok. And it's not ok.

Markets are not designed for impact, they are not designed with social good in mind, they have been designed to be laser-focused on one thing — profit.

Go-To-Market will always be broken:

  • until we redesign what it means to be a market economy
  • until we stop defining macroeconomic success by whether the line goes up or down at the stock market
  • until humanity can give up individual good for social good and markets can be designed for the greater good over individual profit

I’ll end with a quote close to my heart from Maya Angelou —

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”

We now know better, shouldn’t we be doing better?

The good of the few will NEVER outweigh the good of the many.



Karthiga Ratnam

Impact-Driven Category Designer | Working group member Wicked 7