Of The Day
But, sometimes not every day.
|There is an editorial
in The New York Times today, entitled Amazon.you. You can click on that link I just put there,
but first let me give you my twist on it. The author makes the
case that ( and he indicated that Alan Greenspan agrees with
him) that the exciting nature of the Internet stocks is really
way irrational because of the very nature of the Internet. Take
amazon.com, for example, and, at the same time, take Lyle Bowlin,
one of amazon's tiny, do-it-yourself competitors. Lyle, because
of his "no overhead" situation, can buy books at between
10 percent and 5 percent lower than amazon. He has a shopping
cart that costs $30 per month and amazon's state-of-the-art proprietary
cart costs, who knows how much? Lyle has a provider, like ours,
that stores his stuff and gives him the link to the Internet.
Amazon is its own provider, and one of the best out there. And
Lyle has a bank somewhere that is processing his charge card
capability, Amazon does it themselves. He has no employees, his
daughter does the accounting and the webmastering, and his wife
does the shipping. And the Times author, Thomas L. Friedman,
concludes: "So the next time your broker tells you that
this or that Internet retailing stock is actually worth some
crazy multiple, just think for a moment about how many Lyle Bowlins
there already are out there, and how many more there will be,
to eat away at the profit margins of whatever Internet retailer
you can imagine." And, then, to me, bordering on insanity,
cloaked as intelligence, he finishes this horrible indictment
of The New York Times OpEd Page and of all quality efforts at
being the best by saying: "Or think about it like this:
For about the cost of one share of Amazon.com ($126 last night),
you can be Amazon.com."
Wow. Could we then say, applying all of Mr. Freidman's logic, that for the cost of one share of TheNewYorkTimes(.com) -- $32.00 -- you could BE The New York Times? Why not, we publish on the Internet every day. We have a charge card provider and a service provider. Why not? Are we "eating away at the profit margins" of The New York Times? I drastically doubt it. And I doubt it if all the other people who offer Comments of the Day have any effect whatsoever. Mr. Bowlin has his place. So do we. But the Internet is a vast place stretching as far as the mouse can click. There are some that truly, truly stand out. The New York Times is one. Amazon.com is another. They are worth it. They earn it. They lead the way. Check out Mr. Bowlin and Mr. Amazon. If you had $1000 to invest, I will bet that all of you will pay the Amazon.com price every time. Except for Mr. Friedman of The New York Times, who will buy Bowlin.com and lose his money immediately. I shouldn't have to remind someone who works at The New York Times (I used to work there, myself): quality matters. And so does an open mind.
And, now we come to the point. There are people who have a prejudice against the Internet and people who love it and live it. Like all prejudice, it rears its ugly head as reasoned opinion, or as a "personal preference," and finally as a self-reassuring dismissal, creating wounds and resentfulness, sometimes animosity and anger. But, Internet prejudice is as wrong as all the other types and permutations. The same thing happened when the automobile came out, the telephone, the computer and now the vast and significant Internet. Today, you can have almost all of the knowledge of the human race at your fingertips. You don't need to take anyone's word for anything. You still can accept facts as they are given to you, but no one is held hostage to information anymore. And, yes, we all have equal access as of now, although there are censorship and other plans afoot to change that. I have made the case that the word Internet shouldn't be capitalized any longer, it's now like "air" and "entertainment," not like The New York Times. It's non-specific, ubiquitous and without a clear location. It's more like a living thing than a proper noun. It grows. It moves. It has the properties of intelligence. And as this new life force moves along, guess what, people resist the change, the challenge. Some hate it. "I'm too old." "You're too young." "I don't have cable." And, all of it is summarized in the normal human sequencing of a new element: "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of." "Don't need it." "You do it." "It's too much trouble." Then looking over your shoulder, "What's that?" "How'd ya do that?" And in time, "Can't live without it." "You don't have it? What's wrong with you?" "Try to keep up, will you?"
Human nature is what it is. But why can't it be what could be? That is the question.
And speaking of the downside of human nature....
Lee Williams, a student at Wayne State University, walked into a Roseville, Michigan tattoo parlor and ordered a tattoo that included the word, "Villain." As the artist and others in the parlor discussed the spelling of the word, Mr. Williams heard them agree on "Villian." The artist proceeded to inscribe, all but indelibly, the word and the rest of the tattoo on his right forearm. Only after about a week of being around his friends at the frat house did anyone notice. "Even though I was proudly showing it to everyone," he said. Mr. Williams, scholar and art lover, is now suing the tattoo parlor for $25,000 for "damages." He has undergone plastic surgery, after intense joking and derision, probably comparing him to former Vice President Dan Quayle, famous for stupid misspellings. As we often say here at Legend Advertising, "Measure Twice, Because You Can Only Cut Once." There is no substitute for professional proofreading. There is no synonym for "sure.
And, if it were us, rather than go have someone erase that lemon of a tattoo, we would have turned it into a lemonade of a tattoo...perhasps like the one here depicted. That's a forearm to think about... if you like tattoos.