Where was that again?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bad Business...

As a consumer, I often find myself with the outsider’s perspective on things like business ethics, and what seems to make one business succeed where the others have failed. I also have the freedom to my opinion on what makes good business practice, from a consumer’s position.

There’s one thing that will always work out in the favor of the consumer… competition between businesses. Why does this work in the favor of the customer? Simply put, the product that’s presented to us needs to be more appealing than the competition’s. There needs to be something there that makes us sit back and say “Yes, this one is better than that one, and this is the one that will get my money.” It’s important and necessary to have this available, it’s nearly relatable to a “survival of the fittest” effect, where only the best will thrive and the rest will fall to the wayside.

What happens for the consumer when there is no competition? A higher chance of us being presented with a lesser product, and the choice of use it or don’t. There’s nothing that pushes the creator to present us with something that works, at a fair price, and we’re left with the simple choice of use it or don’t. Not a very appealing prospect, is it?

Let’s take this further… What happens when you have this product that is decent, has been selling with no real competition, but has hit a point where there are people who aren’t satisfied with the changes have been made and decide to get back to basics with a product of their own? It means that the product that was already in existence should recognize that they have a competitor and might need to look at what caused the former customer to become competition. For the consumer, it means they have a new option to consider and possibly test out.

Let’s take a real life example for perspective, one most people can relate to. Coca Cola and Pepsi are two major corporations; they have coexisted for many years doing exactly what we, as consumers, would expect them to do. They run their businesses with one primary goal: Make the consumer feel that their company is the better one to spend their money with. They try different tactics in advertising, in product development, in consumer relations. 

What don’t these two powerhouses do? Try and run each other out of town. Why? Because it doesn’t look good to the consumer, those people who spend the money that keeps those businesses from going under. They don’t sit there and say “If you consume their product, you’re not allowed to consume ours.” That would be ridiculous, bad “PR” if you will. 

What we know to be reality is that some people prefer one over the other, while others aren’t particular and either will do. Either way, these companies allow for competition, because it’s healthy for business. It says they’re not scared of the competition, because they’re secure enough that their product will not fall to its proverbial knees under the weight of the opposition. 

What does all this have to do with SL, you ask? Well, simply put, there’s a business in SL that has decided that the best tactic to keep the lindens coming in is to run off the competition, rather than welcome the challenge. It’s not something that’s life altering, but because people’s money is being played with, so to speak, it is worth mentioning the situation in hopes that someone who can make a difference will pay attention to something other than the current “cash out” rate on the Linden exchange and recognize that there will be nothing to cash out if they stay on the same track they’re on now. Slow your damned roll and realize that your product is capable of holding its own against a competitor, if you’d put your priorities in the right order.

Like I said at the beginning, I’m merely a consumer with an opinion.