Selling CRAP

I just thought this was an interesting acronym that Amazon uses for selling unprofitable knick knacks.


They call it:

CRAP


It stands for:


Can’t Realize A Profit. 


Sometimes, you see people buying stuff, lots of stuff, and it’s not important–often, it’s all a lot of junk. 


But they like to shop–bordering on shopsholics’ compulsion. 


Maybe they don’t even have a lot of money for this stuff.


However, just the act of buying it–of having some control in their lives and some freedom of the purse–makes them feel good and buy and hoard more and more things. 


Likely it ends up in Goodwill, recyclables, the attic, or the trash. 


Is it crap?


Well you can’t make realize a profit on it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Tag Lines Deliver

Ouch!  How is that for a tag line?

Unlike Your Boyfriend, We Deliver.


That certainly has a sharp bite to it, but you know what?  It works. 


Witty, funny, and maybe even true. 


It’s the old adage that “sex sells.”


That’s a delivery service that I’m sure many would nod their heads to. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Advertising Platforms As A REAL Business Model?

So I read in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that 3 major technology companies get over 80% of their revenue from advertising:

These companies and their percentage of advertising revenue are:

Facebook – 98.3%

Twitter — 86.4%

Alphabet (Google) — 86%

It’s a wonderful thing how advertising pays for the wonderful free Internet services. 

Looking back to when I was a kid, I guess that how we got all those marvelous TV shows without having to pay for a cable subscription. 

But what I always wonder in the back of my mind is whether collecting advertising dollars is a REAL business. 

Yeah, sure these companies are mammoth and have made themselves and their shareholders gazillions of dollars.  

But somewhere I keep telling myself this doesn’t quite add up. 

If you make something of value then someone is willing to pay for it. 

If it doesn’t have value then you have to give it away for free. 

If facebook or twitter actually charged money for their service, I can’t imagine anyone would actually pay squat for it.  

Google is another story, but if they started to charge, you’d just go to a service like Explorer or Safari that doesn’t.

So if the only way to provide the service is to shove advertising down your customer’s throats, again I have to ask is that really a business. 

If I can’t see how a company can sell something based on the VALUE they are providing, honestly it’s not something that I can really get myself behind. 

Out of the three companies–Google is perhaps the only one that I can see as a real something. 

As for Facebook and Twitter, despite the Presidential tweets and Russian interference in our elections, I don’t see the underlying greatness. 

Maybe I am way wrong, but if you don’t want to pay for it then what the heck is it really worth! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Pet Rock 2018

So when I saw this colored rock last evening, it made me think two things:


One, cool idea, looks nice and fun to make.


Two, it reminded me of the Pet Rocks in the 1970s that made millions (this one was hippie even though those back then weren’t actually even colored).


A business guy came up with the idea to sell smooth rocks from Mexico beach and market them as pets.


Yeah, they are so lovable and easy to care for!


It was one of the great branding and marketing events of the 20th century.


Who would think people would actually spend money on a plain dumb rock that you could basically pick up off the street?


But incredibly, putting the rock in a box with holes (so the rock could breath) and sitting it on a little stack of hay with an joke of instruction book for caring for your rock, SOLD. 


And in fact, over 1,500,000 rocks were sold at a pop of $4 each.


The guy became a millionaire and got rid of a truckload of worthless rocks.


Yes, “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure!”


But surely this was getting a little ridiculous.


Hey, I’ll give you a nickle for the shinny painted rock in the photo here. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Learning To Save For A Rainy Day

Piggy Bank.jpeg

This was so funny coming across this big bright red piggy bank in a thrift store. 


What a blast from the past!


I remember having one of these as a child. 


My parents taught me to put my allowance in to save for the future. 


When it accumulated $10, the metal door on the bottom would open and we could put the money in the bank.


It was like a game to try to get to the magic amount and get the register to pop open.


In those days, the bank had little books for your checking and savings accounts, and when you deposited the money, you’d get a line printed with the deposit and new balance printed in the dot matrix print of yesteryear. 


Again, these were all good lessons about savings and seeing the benefits in the toy register or in your bank book.


Maybe these were things that initially inspired me to get my bachelors degree in accounting.  


The discipline of numbers was great, but it was never as exciting as the promise and hope of ever new technology, but that’s what added up at the time to me. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

2 Jobs Are Better Than 1

2 For 1

So this is a funny story that my friend reminded me (honestly, I had almost completely forgotten about it)…


We were in college (business school) looking for our first real corporate jobs for the Summer. 


With G-d’s blessing, I ended up with 2 nice offers.


But my good friend didn’t have a job.


So I offered one to him.


I was still a kid…what did I know!


I told one company that I accepted and the other company that I had a friend that was interested (of course, I would vouch for him). 


So on day 1 of the Summer job, my friend shows up there in the World Trade Center on the 99th floor (yeah, this is before 9/11 took the whole place down).


The corporate folks talked about it for 5 minutes and said he could stay.


Voila now we both had summer jobs!


Honestly, I can’t believe we ever had the chutzpah, but in those days people helped each other out more. 


2 4 1 and 1 4 All. 


And that’s how we both got started in the NY business world. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Honesty, A Great Policy

Stand On Issues

So I went to the Podiatrist today for some routine maintenance. 


This was a new doctor for me, and I was going in with a healthy dose of skepticism (until I know the person is good and trustworthy). 


Well after the doctor does all these things, I test the waters and ask him, “So how often should I come back to see you every 6 months or more often or what?”


Here’s his opportunity to put money ahead of really caring about the patient and to say to come often and more frequently so they can make more patient visits and more money.


But instead he pleasantly surprised me and goes, “Well let’s see how your doing and take it from there.”


I loved it–some genuine honesty and not just business and a money-making racket. 


Now, I really do plan to go back to this doctor regularly, because I trust him. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)