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Chairmerica: the story of Chan and Chun

ยท 3 min read

In Chairmerica, the most important products are chairs. People pay thousands of dollars every couple years to purchase the latest chairs and pay hundreds more in subscriptions for accessories to further improve them. The companies that design and build the best chairs and accessories attract the most and loyalest customers, generate the largest profits, and have the most influence in government. As a result, the best paying, most meaningful, and most prestigious jobs are those designing and building fabulous and beautiful chairs.

Choogle is by far the biggest, richest, and most influential chair company in Chairmerica. Their designers and engineers build the most elegant, sophisticated, and comfortable chairs in all of Chairmerica. They build chairs on the forefront of chair technology and sell chairs to businesses all over the world.

For as long as Chan can remember, his dream has been to work at Choogle. He and his younger brother Chun have worked in their Uncle Chen's small chair shop since he was fourteen years old. Chan is, by all accounts, an excellent chair designer. His designs are critical to Uncle Chen's success as a small business owner.

As Chan finishes his degree at one of the top universities in Chairmerica, he applies to work at Google. After multiple rounds of rigorous interviews, Choogle offers him a role with top-of-market pay and full benefits. The opportunity is a dream come true, but there is one catch: he is not longer allowed to give or sell designs to any competitors of Choogle, including his Uncle Chen's small shop. He continues to design chairs for Chun and Uncle Chen to build while he finishes his degree, but he can no longer do so when after he graduates. His contract with Choogle forbids him from doing so.

Uncle Chen understands how much working at Choogle means to Chan, so he supports Chan without protesting. But without Chan's designs, he is unable to build new chairs that are competitive enough for his shop to flourish as it did before. Uncle Chen and Chun are great chair engineers, but they cannot design them to match the trends and fit markets as well as Chan could.

Chun's chair engineering skills are on a par to Chan's chair designing skills. One year later, having seen Chan's success, and Chun also applies to work at Choogle as he finishes up his degree. Like his brother, he exceeds expectations in the rigorous interviews and receives an offer with top-of-market pay and full benefits. But also having seen how Uncle Chen's chair shop has been struggling to flourish over the last year, Chun decides to decline the offer.

Chun thinks to himself, what's the point of working at Choogle if he cannot work with Uncle Chen, the person who has taught him to be an engineer since he was a young boy? He tells Uncle Chen, if everyone acted like Chan and abandoned their roots for greater glory and riches, then the world would fall apart. The small chair shops would go out of business and people would have no choice but to accept Choogle's chairs.