The Battle of the Century (or maybe just this week)

May 6, 2009

Business Owners vs Consumers

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It seems that Metaversally Speaking‘s Prad Prathivi’s post Entitlement has caused quite a bit of a stir in the community. I’m personally of the opinion that Prad makes some very good and valid points regarding freebies. But because it was written by a business owner about consumers — throw in a controversial title — my gut reaction was a bit confrontational.

As not to add more fuel to the flames, this post is not a direct response to the whole freebie issue. The original post simply made me want to write some points about what feels (to me) like an escalating battle between business owners and consumers from a consumer’s perspective.

  1. I think it’s important that we differentiate business owner’s and content creators. While there is plenty of overlap between the two, content creators aren’t necessarily making (or expecting to make) a profit. Business owners are making or have expectations of making a profit (and if you aren’t, you’re doing it wrong.) Whether this is a significant real life profit or a modest space buck profit is not important.
  2. There are assholes in this world. And these asshole tendencies come to the surface far easier in online environments. Assholes aren’t more likely to be business owners. Nor are they more likely to be consumers. They just are. Since there are more consumers then business owner’s out there, it is reasonable to expect that one will see more assholes who are consumers. But there are asshole business owner’s. Trust me.
  3. Consumers aren’t entitled to free wares and services from business owners. Nor are business owners entitled to the consumer’s money. Just because you made it, doesn’t mean you’ll be compensated for it. And just because it’s been made, doesn’t mean you will get it for free.
  4. Except for a fortunate minority, we all work for our space bucks. Business owner’s may toil away for hours in Photoshop to only end up getting a modest amount of spending cash, sure. But I’m pretty sure there’s someone who just embalmed a corpse and is using that money to pay their credit card which was used to buy your virtual thingamajig.
  5. I have to assume that business owner’s are grateful when their content is consumed. And I know consumers are happily consuming their content. Do we really need to stroke each other’s boners too? We really shouldn’t expect or need anything more then silence after a space buck exchange for goods and services.
  6. I thank a friend for buying me coffee. I do not thank Starbucks for providing me with a free sample of their new biscotti (that doesn’t mean I am not thankful for the mouth treat.) And I definitely don’t get pissed of when you aren’t worshipping Ronald for giving you a free toy with his happy meal.
  7. Consumers aren’t just statistics that make you money. And business owners aren’t photoshopping script monkeys that do your bidding — For that matter, they aren’t small gods for us to worship either (all praise Greasy McClown, though!). We are all regular people and we should treat each other as such.

By the way, Rock’em Sock’em Robots holds up just about as well as Hungry Hungry Hippos. In other words, not very well. The name’s Bone and I crush childhood memories.


2 Responses to “The Battle of the Century (or maybe just this week)”

  1. I thank a friend for buying me coffee. I do not thank Starbucks for providing me with a free sample of their new biscotti. And I definitely don’t get pissed off when I learn that you aren’t worshipping Ronald for giving you a free toy with his happy meal.

    *snerk!* I think I kind of adore you.

    I think certain designers are getting butthurt about freebies because easy money has now become harder money. Being pretty good isn’t enough anymore, you have to be brilliant. And I suppose it’s a bit disheartening to slave over a hot computer to earn your keep when you’re competing against people who are doing it for fun and don’t care about the money.

    Sensible business owners learn to adapt to the market instead of whinging that the market isn’t adapting to THEIR needs. I’m vaguely reminded of the time The Me worked in a chain bookstore and kept coming across small slips of paper stuck in the books that said something to the effect of “Why are you shopping in a corporate bookstore! How dare you! Go shop at an independent bookstore where they care more about people than profits!” I don’t think they had much of an effect on sales.

  2. adricantfarm said

    Easy on the douc…er blogger of the year.

    His point on entitlement is correct but his pious tone is directed the wrong way for it is he who oozes it from every water and vinegar scented pour on his body. I can’t hate him for this since he is so clueless about it all- it’s near tragic.

    Most free crap is…..drum roll….crap! If you can’t compete with a free product, find a new business because you suck at that one.

    Lastly, please quit expecting hard hitting material form the site that brought you “threesomes” and “does my butt look big”.

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