Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 23rd Mar 2012 15:09 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless I'm currently reading Jerry Kaplan's excellent book "Startup: a Silicon Valley adventure". In this book, Kaplan, founder and CEO of GO Corp., details the founding, financing and eventual demise of his highly innovative company, including the development and workings of their product. What's so surprising about this book is just how timeless it really is - the names and products may have changed, but the business practices and company attitudes surely haven't.
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"The publishers actually go out and buy the books. So even though they lose money doing so, they bump up their sales figures. Once it reaches a critical point, the fact that their sales growth figures are so big that they start getting on lists become advertisements in themselves, causing people to buy them just for being on the list. This further accelerates those figures and pulls the figures up even more. It's a well documented marketing practice and phenomenon.

Sure, but it only works (i.e. results in a net profit) if the book doesn't suck. The product DOES matter, or people stop buying it... Then you get into a negative feedback loop - consumers have some power in the equation too...

*cough* Twilight *cough* The Da Vinci Code *cough*

Real world evidence continues to prove you wrong. People will buy shitty products if it's on a list somewhere and they'll try to convince themselves the list has nothing do with it when in fact it plays a disproportionate part of it.

*cough* VHS *cough* Windows *cough*

"The greatest trick marketing ever pulled was to convince gadget nerds that marketing doesn't exist. I think that's how that quote goes...

I don't think anyone has said marketing doesn't exist... They simply said THEY LIKE THE PRODUCT. The problem with your whole argument is that you twist marketing into some supernatural force that can make people like things that are in fact totally worthless crap. I'm not saying that can't happen (pet rock?), but it is relatively rare - and it is possible for a heavily marketed product to actually be good on its own merits.

When have I ever made the argument that heavily marketed products cannot be good on its own merits? I did not make that generalization. What I DID say is the Apple products are not as better than its competitors as the difference in the price of those products suggests. You, on the other hand, DO make that claim by making the proxy claim that Apple is worth $500 billion dollars because they really produce $500 billion worth of value and perception of value is an inconsequential percentage of it.

No one has said marketing doesn't exist. What people have said is that it plays an inconsequential part of it. Like it or not, psychology affects us more than you know. Deal with it.

I don't twist marketing as a supernatural force. However, marketing is a powerful force. It's strange for you to dismiss marketing as impossible to have a disproportionate amount of power in positive feedback loops, but see no problem in trying to give me a lesson in capitalist economics, which uses terms like "market" and "invisible hand".

Liking an iPad doesn't make you an idiot. Thinking that liking an iPad makes you an idiot DOES make you an idiot... It simply ignores the fact that people like the freedom to spend money as they see fit - they can rationalize a choice. Marketing influences them, but it doesn't control them.

Do you know what? I went back through all the comments. Did a Ctrl-F for the word "idiot". Did you know you're the only person who has used the word "idiot" more than three times in a post? Did you know I never used the word "idiot" in any of my posts? Not only that, I never went so far as saying being susceptible to marketing makes someone an idiot. Being susceptible to marketing and psychology makes someone HUMAN. Nothing wrong with being human. But there's everything wrong with believing yourself to be above being HUMAN in your self-assessed rationality. There is everything wrong with denying that you're HUMAN. There is everything wrong with selectively picking numbers that try to show it has nothing to do with being HUMAN. And that is why I will now put you in the same category as creationists.

Therefore, I also did NOT make any argument that can be construed as saying people are idiots for like iPads. However, I will say people are idiots for liking iPads AS MUCH AS THEY DO. People even identify with Apple and Apple products, which is much more than LIKING a product.

When someone tries to clear away the myth and mystique of a company with logic, reason and evidence, and for another person to use magical economic numbers as a counter-argument, only to reveal that is because they felt attacked by the initial demystifying, is nothing short of identifying oneself with said company. Liking said company's product to the point of identifying oneself with the company, and feeling personally attacked when another doesn't buy into it - that is being an idiot.

Do you buy bottled water? Your an idiot. Do you ever buy anything you see on TV? Your an idiot. Do you drive anything more expensive than a $1500 used car? Your an idiot. Do you play video games or watch movies? Your an idiot.

I'd bet a whole lot of money that one of these applies to you... How do you like being called an idiot?

Would you bet $500 billion? (You haven't answered my wager. If perceived value = actual value in a capitalist economy as you schooled me on, would you really pay $500 billion for Apple if you owned $1 trillion?)

Do I buy bottled water? No
Do I ever buy anything I've seen on TV? Yes. But not an iPad 2. In fact, TV commercials tend to put me off a product. I stopped buying Coke for 5 years because I hated their ads. I've started drinking Coke occasionally, mainly because I no longer watch TV and so haven't seen an ad for Coke for a long time...
Do I drive anything more expensive than a $1500 used car? I catch buses and trains.
Do I play video games or watch movies? Yes. But most games or movies aren't hypervalued in the way that Apple products are. I bought Halo Anniversary for $60, but then, Halo is so far the only game franchise I've bought more than one title of...

In case you haven't got it yet - it's about budgeting. Sensible spending of hard-earned dollars. Hipster twats have parents who buy everything for them. That relationship won't last forever.

How do you like revealing to everyone that your attempts to use economics voodoo to try and justify your reasons amount to nothing more than not being liked calling an idiot for liking something overpriced, especially when you weren't even being called an idiot in the first place? I'm pretty sure that's a complex of some sort, but I don't know what kind of complex it is.

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