A moment of hilarity before normal service resumes.
Ok, so, was talking to a mate today, and he said something, he said that traditionally in his life he always did well in recessionary time, and did badly (for work) in good times, and since he was getting no work, he assumed these were good times.
I disagree about the good times, but it was an interesting comment…
Let’s look at it from another angle.
There is a tool I want to buy, let’s call it X.
- X costs several thousand pounds
- up until now, I have managed perfectly well without X
- I have a day job, I don’t *need* X to generate income.
- On the other hand, I have a day job, so I can buy X, even if I don’t use it.
- The line above depends on how secure I feel in my day job.
- The big variable of course is day job or not, can X actually generate any income.
- The line above is just because I can see uses for it, does that mean others will part with their money to have something done by X
- straight back to the second point, I managed without one, so have they….
It’s complex, and I can so easily see X become a fabulous toy, TBH, a bit like the CNC mill and lathe, that is just fabulous, crapple fanboi creaming his pants phabulous, but which in reality hasn’t been used in anger once in the past 12 months.
It’s really a fairly fundamental question about the very nature of business, what is business, what is trade, what is craft?
The things that I can see that X would do for Tom, Dick and Harry, who become potential customers 1, 2 & 3, well, to do business, customers 1, 2 and 3 have to also feel that X is so good that they are AHEAD on the deal, doing what they do, by outsourcing the thing that X can do to me.
Which is a variable.
Which is *massively* variable, and that variation depends largely on what kind of people Tom, Dick and Harry are….. are they gung ho man with a plan organised and eager and up with a sparrow’s fart motherfuckers? Or are they waiting for business to come to them?
You see the problem, motivating a potential customer for X to exploit X in HIS business, is a whole other ball of wax from providing a potentially great service TO a potential customer via X
Indeed, am I? Because if *I* sit there passively waiting for business to turn up, and no, I have a fucking excellent website dude does NOT cut it, then X is going to be yet another toy that sits there.
At this point the economists will divert you into a discussion of Maslow’s needs and hierarchies.. vomit.. it’s a great way of describing something and utterly missing the point.
My business CANNOT be motivating or encouraging or supporting my potential customers, if they can’t be assed to get their own shit in order, my assistance isn’t going to make a difference, they will still go bust, I won’t get paid for what I have done, and I will get the blame for all their mistakes.
So, let us go back again to what is a recession and what is a boom…
In a boom, it’s easier to persuade people that me + X is an interesting deal, something they should use, something they can resell as part of their work, because in a boom there is plenty of slack to take up the bit where they don’t get all gung ho about their own business.
In a recession, well, nobody is going to venture anything, because they still aren’t gung ho about their business, and me + X, well, that is all very well, if THEY had the customers, but they don’t…
Should I buy X, or buy a fucking harley…lol…. you see, the question is which one gets most use, or, the other option is don’t buy either, keep the horns pulled in, and hope that this job lasts, or, if it ends, I don’t find myself wishing I had X, because I have customers for it, but I can no longer afford it.
It’s the age old quandary…
For X to make a worthwhile profit such that X can genuinely be called an investment, then X needs to be used for a sufficient number of hours per week.
Let’s say 1 hour a week will pay for X itself, and let’s say an additional 10 hours a week will keep ME alive if X becomes my sole source of income and this job dries up.
So now I need to get regular work for X, which means regular customers, but there is a limit in time and expenses to how much marketing I can do, and indeed what sorts of job that X can do that I should punt for, after all, each job has to make me more money than I expend getting that job AND doing it.
I can, quite literally, sit here and think of amazing things that I could do with X, that surely customers out there would want. I can even see me seeing those customers face to face, and showing them a demo product, and them saying wow, that is fantastic, *great* idea.
But, none of that is a SALE. A sale is when you have done the job and been paid and the money is in the bank and you are ahead on the deal… and that last step is a doozy.
Because to go from potential customer to customer, you have to get them to agree to the point that they actually have the money to pay you, and then decide to do so….
LOADS of ideas are great, and I mean that most genuinely, but getting the other party to flash the cash, that is all that counts… to paraphrase the old yank saying, a great idea and a buck will buy you a coffee…
IN a sense, that is what the clip at the beginning is all about, some devs who test games before they get released, if you think the game is buggy and crap now it is released, look at what it was before the devs caught the biggest and most obvious bugs….. nevertheless, the game started as a “great idea”…. implementing it is a motherfucker.
Implementing it often makes it a lot less great than the initial idea led you to think.
Taking a step away from that for a second.
I bought a macro filter for the Canons… pics are links to full size.
Deathstar head, note the minute depth of focus.
Screw on ribbon connector, again, note the minute depth of focus, only the far side of the screw socket is in focus, so basically forget this shit unless you have a tripod or some other method of steadying the shot.
Pulling back the mag a bit… focus shifted to the right rear of the read/write arm
Now with the macro filter removed.. vastly improved depth of focus.
You can see quite clearly, macro filter, not true macro, the object is about 6″ from the lens, and the zoom on the lens acts as part of the macro zoom level.
It quite clearly illustrates the concept of trade-off, if you want up close macro detail, it’s a lot more effort and you lose vast amounts of depth of focus, so unless the object is flat and perpendicular to the lens, you are going to have to make a virtue out of that whole photographers depth of field thing…
If you want a nice big field of view with most of what interests you in focus, you’re going to have to lose vast amounts of up close macro detail.
There is an obvious analogy there to business planning re the pros and cons of me buying X.
And this is quite the separate matter from the unknowns, in the unknowns, we don’t know what we are going to photograph, that is hidden inside a box with Schroedinger’s cat, in this example we know what we are going to photograph, but we still have to deal with the issues of looking at the larger picture, or looking at a small part of that picture in detail.
The larger picture is every potential customer I may have for X, the detail is each individual customer I may have for X.
I can’t skip the larger picture and go straight to the detail, I may well miss something vital, nor can I look at the larger picture and skip the detail, I may still miss something vital.
Those “GREAT ideas” I mentioned above, they are the detail, because invariably each scenario deals with one thing X can do for one hypothetical customer.
This is how wimminz set up shops selling bespoke cup cakes.
My day job, classic example of seeing the larger picture and just discarding all the detail.
Neither approach is right, and both have to be, before we can even seriously consider the prospects of buying X, or Y, or Z, or anything else.
“I’ve got a kick-ass website dude” doesn’t cut it, nor does any other piece of marketing.
The cash register going “ka-ching” as you ring up a sale is all that counts.
It then becomes an interesting human dilemma.
Are you one of those people who sit there and say “Oh yes, if only I had X, Y and Z advantages, I’d be all over that shit and making a fucking killing dude…” or are you one of those people who will look at what they don’t have, and see what can be done to get around that, is there another way.
Which makes it all very interesting, are you selling what X can do, or are you selling what YOU can do with X, because if YOU have no imagination and dedication, what’s to set you apart from your potential customers, or competitors, or anyone else?
I’m always reminded of this asshole kid and their asshole parent I met yonks ago, back then the WWW was fairly new, and Encarta on CD was brand new, and for those of you who don’t know, Encarta was basically an encyclopaedia on CD, and you navigated around by clicking hypertext links in the text body, or typing what you wanted to find in the search function.
Both of these two declared it “crap”.
The reason it was crap, was that it didn’t give them ANSWERS, type “what is 22 divided by 7” into google and it gives you the fucking answer, and a bunch of links to pages that give you the answer…. NONE of those links explain the answer.
e.g. multiplication and division are just iterative functions of addition and subtraction, add in moving decimal places and adding zeroes, and you have long division and long multiplication, 11 over 7 or 22 over 4 should not then require further questions, you already know how to WORK THE ANSWER OUT for yourself.
99.9% of your potential customers, or business partners, or suppliers, or competitors, are going to be like that, they just want the fucking answer.
Suddenly, we have an entirely new question.
If I buy X, will I then be able to answer those repetitive and boring questions with zero effort on my part, and charge a fee for doing so that is low enough they will keep coming back and asking more questions, and can the “subject matter” of questions that I can “answer” with X be wide enough to promote that?
But sooner or later you come back to that place where you have a list of unknowns that being brutally honest about, no matter how gung ho you are, you aren’t ever gonna fucking know unless you bite the bullet.
So biting the bullet becomes the big question, in my case with my X, biting the bullet means I have to do 2 chargeable hours worth of work with X every week, that’s break-even in the commercial sense, and any home hobby use then becomes free.
At present, my hesitancy is down to one thing, sure, there is loads of hobby stuff I could do NOW, but am I likely to exhaust that list of interesting and cool things to do, in, say, six months, if so, at that point, all that is left is the purely commercial aspect of it.
The angle of the dangle is equal to the heat of the beat when the throb of the knob is constant… but there are no constants in life, except for gravity and entropy…. and mebbe planck length…lol