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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kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

"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.

Reply Parent Score: 2

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

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


There ARE people that GENUINELY like both of those books, and not because of marketing. Tastes vary.

*cough* VHS *cough* Windows *cough*


VHS won because of marketing? No, it won because it was better where it mattered:

1. Much longer recording times - tapes were not cheap at first, so it mattered how much use you got out of one.

2. JVC licensed VHS cheaply - Sony didn't.

3. Early single piece consumer level Betamax cameras could not playback - they could only record. VHS did both from the start. And they were cheaper.

4. Rentals. More material was available on VHS. Positive feedback loop...

In fact I would go so far as to say that VHS was simply better period. The difference in picture quality was simply immaterial to the market, i.e. it's best feature was one that no one cared about.

And Windows... there are perfectly rationale intelligent people that use it every day and are quite happy with it. It isn't marketing that makes them do this - it meets their needs. There are also rationale arguments to be made as far as areas in which it is an inferior product compared to the options available. You are not making any of these arguments though - you are just copping out by explaining it away as marketing...

When have I ever made the argument that heavily marketed products cannot be good on its own merits? I did not make that generalization.[q/]

No, you simply dismiss any argument concerning what people DO like about Apple products as irrelevant - because they are brain washed. It is a straw man.

[q]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.


How the hell do you quantify that? That is a pretty blanket statement. An entry level iPad for instance costs $399. That's about $100 more than most of the competitions entry level stuff. Many, if not most, people who have experience with the other options (Kindle Fire, Playbook, Touchpad, etc.) would say the difference is easily worth the extra $100 - maybe even more. And they can give perfectly rationale reasons WHY (I won't bother, I would run out of space fairly quickly)...

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. I said Apple is really worth $500 billion dollars because that is what the market has deemed them to be worth by buying their stock at the current pricing. You, on the other hand, keep bringing up "perception of value", as if there is another type of value. There isn't. Value IS based on perception. That is not marketing though, that is economics. There is no such thing as "intrinsic" value.

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 claim it is inconsequential - just that it is no more consequential with Apple than it is with HP or Microsoft or anyone else. So it DOESN'T MATTER when discussing the relative merits of the company or its products.

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?


Idiot. Hipster Twat. Same thing. I'm actually quite polite normally - you just rub me the wrong way.

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.


What a load of shit! Your INJECTING myth and mystique into the discussion. I'm simply taking the position that the reason Apple is doing so well might, just maybe, have at least a teeny bit to do with the products they sell.

And I absolutely do not identify myself with Apple. I don't own any of their stock. I do have a few of their products, and I am quite happy with them and what I paid for them on their own merits.

And I'm not trying to defend Apple. I don't even care - we could be talking about any company. Your arguments are not even about Apple - they boil down to how stupid you think consumers are. Guess what bud, your one too.

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?)


Me personally? Hypothetically if I had a trillion dollars I wouldn't buy Apple. I don't believe in putting all my money in one basket. It WOULD invest at least some of it in them though - and based on past performance there is no reason to think I wouldn't get a return.

In reality though, if I had a trillion dollars I would probably give most of it to charity. I don't have any need for that kind of money and I don't have the ambition or desire to go empire building...

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.


I AM a parent (3 kids). I'm 40. No one buys anything for me. I would be happy to explain why I bought the Mac Mini I have, or the Macbook Air, but there would be no point because you would just say I'm a mindless drone who can't think for himself...

Reply Parent Score: 2

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

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


There ARE people that GENUINELY like both of those books, and not because of marketing. Tastes vary.
"

That was not your argument. Your argument was that marketing ultimately does not work for crappy products. It is a demonstrably wrong argument. Those people who like Twilight and Dan Brown books are more likely to like those books because they were massive bestsellers.

"*cough* VHS *cough* Windows *cough*


VHS won because of marketing? No, it won because it was better where it mattered:
"

You keep on making arguments, I rebut them, and you forget the argument you were making in the first place.

You made the argument that crappy products eventually fail. It just doesn't happen. I addressed THAT argument. Now you are making it seem as though I was bringing them up as examples of marketing.

"When have I ever made the argument that heavily marketed products cannot be good on its own merits? I did not make that generalization.


No, you simply dismiss any argument concerning what people DO like about Apple products as irrelevant - because they are brain washed. It is a straw man.
"

No, that you are putting words in my mouth is a straw man. You do so in reply to a post in which I even explained why I did not dismiss people who like Apple as idiots. I even brought up evidence of me NOT making such a generalization.

I guess it makes you feel better to picture yourself as part of a persecuted demographic.

"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.


How the hell do you quantify that? That is a pretty blanket statement. An entry level iPad for instance costs $399. That's about $100 more than most of the competitions entry level stuff. Many, if not most, people who have experience with the other options (Kindle Fire, Playbook, Touchpad, etc.) would say the difference is easily worth the extra $100 - maybe even more. And they can give perfectly rationale reasons WHY (I won't bother, I would run out of space fairly quickly)...
"

I never said there weren't any rational reasons. But now many Apple buyers do so out of rational reasons and how many are just taken in by the marketing?

Wasn't there some "research" a while ago that showed most people who bought iPads have a few months of heavy use which tapers off significantly after that? If that isn't people buying a device they didn't actually need all that much because of marketing then you're deluding yourself.

"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. I said Apple is really worth $500 billion dollars because that is what the market has deemed them to be worth by buying their stock at the current pricing. You, on the other hand, keep bringing up "perception of value", as if there is another type of value. There isn't. Value IS based on perception. That is not marketing though, that is economics. There is no such thing as "intrinsic" value.
"

Now you're just arguing my point. You were the one who fired off about "reality" in the first place and now you admit it's ALL perception of value. That was MY point.

"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 claim it is inconsequential - just that it is no more consequential with Apple than it is with HP or Microsoft or anyone else. So it DOESN'T MATTER when discussing the relative merits of the company or its products.
"

Marketing matters more for Apple than Microsoft or HP. I can't even believe you can claim otherwise. Apple is a company about image. From the 1984 ad to the Mac vs PC ad to the Jobs wearing black turtlenecks and silhouette iPod ads. Apple markets image more than the others. The others try to market features.

Idiot. Hipster Twat. Same thing. I'm actually quite polite normally - you just rub me the wrong way.


I tend to do that when I use logic, reason and evidence.

And no, "Hipster Twat" is not the same as "idiot". I really hope that isn't the sole reason why you think I'm making arguments about certain people being idiots. If it is, then it's your own fault you get your definitions mixed up.

"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.


What a load of shit! Your INJECTING myth and mystique into the discussion. I'm simply taking the position that the reason Apple is doing so well might, just maybe, have at least a teeny bit to do with the products they sell.
"

Not a "teeny" bit. You argue that most of how they do well is the product. It simply isn't. If they were to sell an iPad without the Apple logo on it, it would simply not sell as well. And if you think it would, it explains why you believe economists...

And I absolutely do not identify myself with Apple. I don't own any of their stock. I do have a few of their products, and I am quite happy with them and what I paid for them on their own merits.

And I'm not trying to defend Apple. I don't even care - we could be talking about any company. Your arguments are not even about Apple - they boil down to how stupid you think consumers are. Guess what bud, your one too.


This is proof you identify yourself with Apple, because you keep saying I made arguments about how stupid I think consumers are when I keep pointing out I HAVE NOT MADE SUCH ARGUMENTS.

"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?)


Me personally? Hypothetically if I had a trillion dollars I wouldn't buy Apple. I don't believe in putting all my money in one basket. It WOULD invest at least some of it in them though - and based on past performance there is no reason to think I wouldn't get a return.

In reality though, if I had a trillion dollars I would probably give most of it to charity. I don't have any need for that kind of money and I don't have the ambition or desire to go empire building...
"

Then Apple isn't REALLY worth $500 billion is it? You yourself claimed that in a capitalist system, perceived value is actual value. But when it comes down to it, you wouldn't buy Apple if you had more than enough money. That, my friend, is the REAL value it's cost. I doubt any of the economists would actually buy Apple for $500 billion. Therefore, Apple ISN'T REALLY worth $500 billion. Because people wouldn't actually buy it if it was possible. That is Apple's real value - when perceptions of its value are forced to become sober.

"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.


I AM a parent (3 kids). I'm 40. No one buys anything for me. I would be happy to explain why I bought the Mac Mini I have, or the Macbook Air, but there would be no point because you would just say I'm a mindless drone who can't think for himself...
" [/q]

I think your inferiority complex is filling in a gap about me making arguments about mindless drones I did not make.

The major demographic for Apple products is the 20 to 35s. Hipster twats die off at about 30.

Reply Parent Score: 1

netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

Never heard of Phillips video2000 ?

Reply Parent Score: 2

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"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 claim it is inconsequential - just that it is no more consequential with Apple than it is with HP or Microsoft or anyone else. So it DOESN'T MATTER when discussing the relative merits of the company or its products.
"

To add to my previous debunking of this point, here's another thing to consider. Apple was the first (as far as my limited knowledge in this area goes), and is still a leader, in giving graphic designers prominence in the development process of a computer product. Microsoft tried to fake it with XP and only gave into graphic design for the Ribbon interface. Sure, you can claim that as a development expense rather than marketing expense, but you can't not see that Apple really cares about image - hence psychology - more than any other computer company there ever was.

Thus, it is empirically more consequential for Apple than it is for Microsoft or HP. Nothing to do with group think or brainwashing. Humans care about looks*, no matter how liberal or politically correct a person believes themselves to be, and Apple creates a perception of a highly unified look and feel. And you can't deny that there is more intentional psychology at work for Apple than for Microsoft or HP or IBM when Apple can get people believing it stands for individualism and creativity when it produces the most conformist, pristine, uniform, closed, protected, easy to use products in the personal computing/media market.

* And if people don't believe me, then let me remind everyone of all the sissy whining of computer "geeks" and "nerds" over Ubuntu's previous "ugly" brown color scheme. Not even people geek savvy enough to use Linux could get rid of their inherently human superficiality. "Right tool for the job, unless it's coloured shit brown". That's REAL mature, GUYS. Sometimes I think I'm the only person who doesn't let bad colour schemes or bad typography ruin my day. There are so many other inconsequential things to annoy people already.

Edited 2012-03-25 15:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1