Büchstein’s famous maxim, loosely translated as “we are in a meeting, therefore you exist”, which he formulated to disprove central thesis from Descartes’ Discourse on the Method and thus establish the non-existence of an omnipotent benevolent god, for no such deity could exist in a universe where all-hands conference calls are an inevitability.
If there is such a thing in our world as a business meeting (“and,” said Büchstein, “take it from me, there most definitely is”) — then it is not, as Descartes contended, self-evidently true that the only certain thing in the universe is the incorporeal “I” as a thinking thing (“res cogitans”).
- “Just as one cannot clap one-handed, one cannot have a meeting by oneself, however appealing that idea must on cursory examination seem. I must exist — no quibble with that — but so, in the context of a steering committee, operational failure remediation work stream, weekly line manager one-to-one or conference call must you.”
Büchstein went on to consider the nature of a “meetee”: “You” must also exist, as a talking thing (“res verbositans”), and so must the project manager as an action-assigning thing (“res bossitans”)