Saturday, November 13, 2004

An alternative business plan

Published on 19-Mar-2001, at "" (a business and technology Israeli site). Translated from Hebrew by "".

To: The crisis investigation committee
From: Someone who had a go and was Nasdaqed to smithereens

Re: The real guilty party – the customer

What haven't we done for him?

We gave him cheap, even mobile personal computers.

We made them the size of his palm, the size of a cellular phone – all for his comfort.

We gave him Internet. Immediate data communication to anywhere in the world – for almost nothing. Sometimes for nothing.

We distributed free software, flooded him with junk mail, got him websites with noisy invasive banners.

We installed software without his knowledge and tracked his surfing and shopping habits.

We even sold the data he left in our website to different companies (at least he made us a buck).

And him? What does he do?

He doesn't buy as much as he said he would in the surveys.

He doesn't surf the Internet every day.

He steals hacked and cracked software from us (and passes it on to family and friends).

He doesn't buy a new computer every year.

He doesn't read the user manual, and then calls for technical support (which costs us a fortune!) and claims the software doesn't work.

He just doesn't know how to operate the product.

He comes home from work all worn out, and after being set upon by the kids the sonofabitch doesn't have the time to surf into our incredible website and buy a whole lot of stuff.

His fingers aren't small enough and his vision isn't keen enough to surf the web via a cellular phone.

What can I say? The client does not fit into our business model

He doesn't interface with our products at all:

He's analog and the product's digital.

You can't connect to him because he has no printer/communication/USB/Infrared socket.

He's lazy in studying the products he buys (and is certain that they have to study him!), and so is incredulous at his inability to achieve extra sensory understanding of how to immediately operate the products).

He hasn't got enough free money to increase our profits.

He doesn't think what we are doing is important (or important enough to spend money on).

He got used to a free lunch.

He's mentally challenged – he has yet to set the clock on his VCR (on purpose, because if the clock is set he'll have to move on to the next, much more difficult phase of recording at a later date.)
He's afraid of changes, innovations and inventions.

He becomes emotionally attached to products he already knows.

He prefers to communicate with family and friends to using our product.

Selling to people isn't worth it

We move too fast for him. By the time he's mentally capable of accepting the product, we will have spent all our cash (presuming we don't get bought out first).

Next time, we may want to conduct a preliminary poll – just to make sure the client has a real need for our product, and how much he's willing to pay for it.
Maybe we need to change our whole concept of commerce.
Selling to people isn't worth it.

We should either sell from computer to computer, or else we computerize our human clients.

Yes… I like that. First, we install fast digital socket, thus ensuring there's someone to talk to. Then we install a processor and a little memory, not to mention suitable purchasing software.

We can make them feel they are buying of their own free will, including spontaneous acquisitions, but in reality, we control the entire process.

We'll make sure they buy a lot, but also that they work a lot – to have the money to buy from us. We'll ask their employers to send their paychecks directly to us.

Each time we come out with a new version, we could upgrade them, technically support them, we'll get the wear and tear on them to be recognized for tax purposes.

When the consumer's life run out – they won't die.
Snippets of their lives will run on the screen in an endless loop – and the red writing will blink in big letters that read:

Game Over – Insert Coin.


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