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Comment Low tech solution... (Score 1) 195

Or, they could, you know, go low-tech and just have a sign by the shirts that says, "Matching Shorts - 20% Off". Or even better, put the shorts on the next table.

Want to *really* upsell me? Have a pretty girl at the door hand me a coupon for an extra 10% off any purchase of $25 or more at the register. Good for two days.

Comment Re:Every other day delivery is much better..... (Score 1) 867

How about reducing the number of days mail is delivered to the door based on the distance you live from a central USPS mail center. If rural delivery is the problem, then changes to rural delivery based on the time it takes to get to your home would be the answer as well. If you live 5 miles or less from a central office, then you get your mail 6 days a week. 8 miles - 5 days. 10 miles - 4 days 15 miles - 3 days. 20 miles - 1 day. More than 25 miles - you pick it up yourself. Sounds fair to me. There's a reason that cities work. Living in the quiet outback is great, but why should everyone else subsidize that? Something like 80% of the population lives in a major city.

Comment Re:Annoy by Design (Score 1) 156

Take your pick. The problem is that people tend to think of these services, especially within social media, as something other than a "product" with a shelf life. It's not like we make our lives available to our friends and extended family with the idea that it's 'only until the company can't make money any more and the service dies'. Anything on the web that survives for more than about a year, we tend to think of as "permanent"... but it never is. But honestly, the life cycle really seems to be:

- develop product
- release as free/no ads to increase demand
- slowly insert unobtrusive ads
- slowly insert obtrusive ads
- switch to "premium" version to remove ads
- premium version only removes some ads
- sell user data to highest bidder
- die a slow death

I'm not saying that I have any idea how to monetize the web, but I learned old-school marketing, which was #1 - never piss off your customers. #2 - Either you are ad-driven, or pay-for-service driven, but never both, because eventually you will go to far and violate rule #1. And then you're dead.

Comment Annoy by Design (Score 1) 156

Why is it that the current model in large scale endeavors like this is to purposely make something so annoying that the customer would pay to remove that annoyance? Why spend all that money on a clean and simple, easy-to-use interface to attract customers - and then purposely make it annoying? It seems like we go through cycles - a great product appears, it attracts a massive userbase, marketing steps in and fraks it up, users jump-ship to the "next great thing", repeat. I realize that these are businesses which need to make money, but seriously, is general marketing really that stupid? How many years now have we been driving this failed model?

Comment Re:Breaking news (Score 2) 298

"eBook prices are mediated by the supply of good writers..."

Actually, it's the supply of 'good writers willing to write.' Few authors are going to keep writing if they can't make any money. As much as we like to think otherwise, publishers are still needed for most writers. At the very least you need an editor. If you want a reasonable cover, you're going to need an artist and/or designer as well. Then there's marketing, etc. A publisher takes care of all that and lets a writer write. Of course, publishers are still taking a huge slice of the pie, much larger than they should be. Nonetheless, if online sellers are able to keep pushing the price of books down, without setting a fixed wholesale price, then eventually it won't be profitable enough for authors to continue writing. More so, with a 'demand-based' market, only the best sellers get listed in the top slots on Amazon. But you only get to be a best seller because you got noticed. It's a catch 22.

Comment Re:The theater is dead. (Score 1) 924

I haven't seen $8 movie tickets for a normal showing in San Diego for almost five years, hell, maybe ten. Eight bucks *might* get you a small popcorn and a small drink, but most standard shows are around $11.50. $13-15 if it's 3D, which every freaking movies is these days.

But you're right. We stopped going to the theater. I mean, I can take my family of three to a show for around $50-60, OR, I can pay for 5 months of DVD/streaming-all-I-can-watch Netflix and make my own popcorn.

Comment Re:Not to defend Apple, but... (Score 1) 171

Certainly it can be done, and frankly, I think the publishing industry in general must change the way it does things or it's dead in the water. But most of publishing is about getting seen by the right people. You can do that as an author if you have the time (it takes gobs!), and most publishing firms do a crappy job of this anyway. Just like Amazon, they are going to put their real money and time on the books that they know will sell. If you're a first time author (or even mostly unknown) then you get a minimal effort. My wife literally sold more copies of her first book than the publisher did.

Amazon provides a place to be seen, but unless you're somehow able to get the right eyes to read you, you are just a very small fish in vast ocean of other small fish. What sucks is that so many of those other small fish are just bait.

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