Friday, June 29, 2012


The rooster is a national symbol of Portugal, so it adorns every item in the touristy part of town. I managed to restrain myself from buying this apron. Just barely.

This post's theme word is platyrrhine, "having a broad, flat nose." Yes, that's a very nice bird, but do you have anything more... platyrrhine?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Set-your-own-price reverse marketplace

Amazon will let vendors -- who own items -- post those items for sale at a fixed price. Ebay lets vendors post items for sale by auction, where buyers have some power over the price they pay. On Kickstarter, speculating vendors attempt to rustle up (financially) committed customers before spending movey on overhead and setup costs. This business model makes some amount of sense, because the market
for your fantastic idea may not exist. It's a way of crowdsourcing market research, pinned to a method of getting startup money from a mob.

I dream of a reverse marketplace, a sort of backwards kickstarter (but not kickstopper, as amusing as that is). It would be a website with a huge inventory (possibly borrowed from Amazon's databanks, like where buyers can post offered prices. Then the vendors can browse this collection of data and determine if, e.g., there are millions of dollars to be made if they decrease the price of that CD from $10 to $5. (This still provides more control than the pay-what-you-can and pay-what-you-want models used by JoCo and AFP.)

A secondary benefit of such a site is to reverse-kickstart things. There are books, music, and games that I _would_ buy -- at their present prices-- if they were availabe WITHOUT DRM. So I'd reverse-bid on those. But they're currently only available WITH DRM, which is a no-go and worth $0 to me. This would show vendors, publishers, and creators how many sales they are MISSING because of DRM. It could also show publishers other data about formatting (this movie is in high demand on DVD but not Blu-Ray; this music will sell as vinyl but not CD, etc.).

Think about it as voluntary market research data. I am willing -- WILLING -- to give advertisers, publishers and vendors this data. This VALUABLE DATA ABOUT MY SPENDING PREFERENCES AND HABITS.

Do you hear me, online sellers?

This post's theme word is samizdat, "an underground publishing system used to print and circulate banned literature clandestinely. Also, such literature."