Saturday, January 12, 2013

12 of 95: You can have secrets or profits, but not both

12. There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.

[Part 11]

This is brutal. In a good way.

Back in the by now quite mythological ages of information poverty, you could get away with selling sub-par products by virtue of the market not knowing that they were in fact sub-par. The cost of researching the alternatives were either too high or our of reach completely, and this fact was exploited by the various actors on the market. Due to the logic of capitalism - make money - corners would be cut, and cut in such a way that what you got was the cheapest possible produced unit with the lowest possible standard of quality acceptable. Cheap, bad and mass-marketed - those were the days.

No more of that now.

A tangible example of this is bike locks. Just take a gander at this here hyperlink for the longer version.

If you gandered, you'll no doubt have gotten to the point by now: if something is broken, it will remain broken, and people will know all about just how broken it is. No ifs, no buts, no secrets - if it is broken, fix it. There will be no mercy if you don't.

Returning to the dialectic between the inter and the intra, we see that the tremendous increase in the communicative ability of ordinary people cannot but have effects on the logic of ordinary workplaces. Or, put in another way: if you keep selling broken bike locks on a market where thieves, customers, bloggers and every mom of every one of these persons know just how broken these locks are, you're done.

That is an ex business model. It has ceased to be.

What you want and need to do is to get out there and talk to these people. The customers and experts. Because they will tell you all about what you're doing. What you're doing right, what you're doing wrong and what you're doing that they don't like. And I hope I don't have to venture into a long diatribe about how you want to keep doing the right things, fix the wrong ones and deal with the unliked ones.

You can't please everybody. That never changed.

This goes for everything. The quality of goods produced, the expedience of services rendered, the everything of everything. Advertising, working conditions, the eco-friendliness of the supply chains, the bonuses to the high bosses, the things that the internal discourses of the workplace has developed a fond blind spot for - nothing of that is secret, and people will find out about it. By virtue of caring about what you do.

I once again want to return to the main point of yesterday's post: you can either view this as a bad thing or a good thing. If you're in the good mood, then you're probably thinking about how everyone's life is improved by the discontinuation of bad practices. If not -


Why would anyone want to keep these bad practices around, I wonder?

I'll see you all again tomorrow for part thirteen.

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