Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Do You & Your Company Create New Problems With New Solutions & Marketing Gimmicks?


We marketers, managers and founders sometimes think we are so smart. We think we can use all the tricks and our users and clients would be too dumb to figure out the truth.  From car manufacturers, retailers, ecommerce, transportation, utilities, tech companies, telecom, insurance, banking,  b2b providers, the internet providers…others.


One take away, the way capitalism works in all forms today is not sustainable. In my opinion you can’t extract resources that have taken thousands of years to form and not have good ways to reuse, recycle, repurpose the goods we make. The new or natural resource may become harder to obtain. Nothing against capitalism but today's capitalism is too short term thinking.

[“In California, panels purchased during a solar power push that began in 2006 are nearing the end of their typical 25-year life cycle, according to the Los Angeles Times. Now, many are landing in landfills, “where components that contain toxic heavy metals such as selenium and cadmium can contaminate groundwater,” ]

The rising oil prices, inflation, trying to get other countries to increase oil production so we can go back to normal consumption of limited natural resources—the droughts—hunger crises in parts of Africa—the floods—possible new covid variants—the Ukraine & Russian conflict—supply chain concerns—rising heat waves—rising violence . . .all signs that something/someone is trying to tell us something.

From my observation, it appears that the boom and bust cycles will be happening at a more frequent rate and shorter periods because the social & economic & natural problems keep compounding.

Going gaga for solar power and green energy sounds like a solution to our energy needs now but is it worth it to end up with more trash burden in the future???

If we go green energy shouldn’t we make sure most of the waste is also cheaper to green???

[“National Renewable Energy Laboratory data cited by the Times said the estimated that costs to recycle a (solar) panel are $20 to $30, compared to $1 to $2 if they are sent landfills.”]


When I came across this, I realized how messed up capitalistic business thinking can go. BMW created a subscription plan that charges you monthly to have heated car seats. Who thought of this? Will BMW be running a Nuclear Power Plant that supplies their cars with electricity directly? 

[“The BMW subscription plan for seat heaters is sold in the U.K., where the fee is about $17 a month, and South Korea, where it costs about $18 a month, according to The Verge, which earlier reported on the development.  According to BMW's U.K. site, some cars are installed with seat warmers "at no extra cost." But to access the actual seat-warming function, customers must purchase a $17 monthly subscription plan or else pay up about $416 to unlock the service on an "unlimited basis." Once the purchase is made, the seat warmers are "then activated in your vehicle," the site notes. “]

I and many business people understand the power of a subscription business model but there’s a line and best use. Renting a BMW per month, sure. Having your car color changed every month, sure. Upgrading parts of your car, sure? Charging for features in a device you paid full price on is just stupid. It’s like if Apple said it will charge you a monthly fee for the privilege of charging your IPhone or linking your Bluetooth devices?

To my fellow Startups, SMB, Founders & Entrepreneurs & Whomever…microtransaction and subscription model are sweet however think it through from the users perspective. Your new solutions and stupid marketing gimmicks is just going to f_#$@#  you up in the long run.  BMW thinks they can play “clever” with their customers in the short term but they lose credibility & support in the long run.  

Also keep in mind that consumers and businesses are overwhelmed with subscription services and adding more may not be something they consider lightly.


When you (hint: FaceBook) are getting your ass kicked by TikTok…the feature to introduce is giving users the ability to have five profiles?

[“Facebook will embark on the following test, with the goal of encouraging more activity from users inside the main blue app: It will let users have up to five Facebook profiles, all tied to one main account.”]

They hope the FaceBook user will create different profiles for different parts of their lives and share more.  


Why do profitable, secure, loved, admired companies suddenly start offering loyal-paying-customers with questionable offers, contracts, endless fees, poor customer services and shady marketing gimmicks?  

According to an HBR article I read, “Companies have found that confused and ill-informed customers, who often end up making poor purchasing decisions, can be highly profitable indeed.”

They are basically taking advantage of anyone that they can exploit to the maximum. All for the company’s profit and they don’t care if they have intentionally created confusion, complexity & traps. 

Myself and I hope fellow founders & entrepreneurs can agree this is not “Built-To-Last” thinking.  You’ve just built a company that creates new problems with new stupid solutions & marketing gimmicks all for a business that will be broke in a few years.

TIP: Thick your service and product offerings through. Look at it from many perspective before launch.

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