Daily Archives: June 4, 2011

The Entire Groupon Controversy

People are up in arms about Groupon and I understand all the reasons why.

There are two things I think people are overlooking. One is in a Comment I made elsewhere about Groupon:

How hard would it be for Groupon to switch their model from targeting local merchants to spraying discounts from national brands? For instance, instead of Fred’s Deli Grouponing cat food for ten cents a can and eating that loss, Friskies does targeted geographic campaigns like that to get rid of dated inventory they know are at local merchants? That’d be more efficient and effective than a weekly printed flyer coupon, no?. Other than doing that, given the large amounts of money I’ve seen reported being extracted from Groupon, it does smell like a pyramid.

And the second point is contained in that Comment too: that once you have those customers, you can do other things with them.

Customer acquisition costs are going to continue to rise, making scaling very difficult unless you have some strange quirky thing that goes massively viral (like the Pet Rock did in the 1970s).

So Groupon is walking a tightrope, putting down a huge bet that once they have a massive base of customers, they can turn that into even more money other ways.

It will be interesting to see if they can do that.

Let’s not forget that a little bookstore called Amazon did!

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Filed under Digital Overthrow

Blog Notes: Appearance Experiments Coming

Based on Comments from users, I am investigating making appearance changes to this blog.

I’ve never been fond of this theme, but it was in the Less Bad column of my possible choices.

There might be a bit of a mess here tomorrow (Sunday 6/5) as I try things, so be warned.

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Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes To War

Absolutely NO spoilers after the break.

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Filed under TV, Writers, Writing

My Two Revolutionary Wishes For Apple’s WWDC

Everyone else is predicting grand cloud strategies that will reshape all of computing.

My two items are not predictions, just wishes, and I don’t think I’m asking for much:

1) For Apple to relent, recognize the cultural importance and value-enhancement of books, and let eBookstores sell in-app without requiring a business-murdering 30% vig to Apple.

2) For Apple to admit that with over 500,000 items now in the App Store — with many, many more on the way — it can no longer justify taking 30% from developers because Apple absolutely cannot market every app, only provide a Store listing.

What’s so difficult about either of those?

Update, June 6, 2011: Apple did neither. Next!

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Filed under Apple: The Company

That Self-Alienated Sociopath, Ayn Rand

At this post, Philosophy Weekend: Why Ayn Rand Is Wrong (and Why It Matters), I left a Comment.

I think it’s worth saving here too (with two typos fixed) so I can refer to it in the future:

Good luck. Rand herself would not be open to logical refutation of her system’s flaws. At bottom, it rests on the variety of people in the world, very few of whom (if any!) are anything like her *imaginary* characters (and she certainly wasn’t like them). Frustrated by such reality, Rand would likely say, “Well, they shouldn’t be like that!” Which is no argument at all. BTW, I’ve read all her fiction and non-fiction books, even got her autograph before she died (saw her at her last public appearance), and a good friend worked for her too. So I just don’t waste my time arguing with Randroids. There is no Howard Roark, there is no John Galt; they are made-up people who do not reflect real human beings and are, in fact, antithetical to *being* human. But none of them seem to be able to grasp that fundamental point to begin with.

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Filed under Reference, Writer

Gas Drops In Price!

Photo taken today, Saturday June 4, 2011:

Gas hasn’t changed since my last photo on May 7, 2011, when it was $4.43.

Today, a shocker!

Paying by plastic at the pump is $4.45.

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QR Codes Spotted June 4, 2011

Photos taken today, Saturday June 4, 2011:


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Freedom Tower, June 2011

Photos taken today, Saturday June 4, 2011:


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