Raise prices?

photo by Joe Pugliese for The New Yorker

photo by Joe Pugliese for The New Yorker, click through for source.  

Tim Ferriss: If you could have one billboard, anywhere with anything on it, what would you put on it? If you wanted to convey a short message to as many people as possible.

Marc Andreessen: I’ve got one, I’ve actually thought about hiring a skywriter to do this one. Right in the heart of San Francisco would be a billboard with just two words on it: Raise Prices.

TF: Raise prices?

MA: Yes. The number one thing – just the theme and we see it everywhere – the number one theme with our companies have when they get really struggling is they are not charging enough for their product. It has become absolutely conventional wisdom in Silicon Valley that the way to succeed is to price your product as low as possible under the theory that if it’s low-priced everybody can buy it and that’s how you get the volume. And we just see over and over and over again people failing with that because they get in the problem we call too hungry to eat. They don’t charge enough for their product to be able to afford the sales and marketing required to actually get anybody to buy it. And so they can’t afford to hire the sales rep to go sell the product. They can’t afford to buy the TV commercial, whatever it is. They cannot afford to go acquire the customers.

TF: Too hungry to eat.

MA: Too hungry to eat. And then they sit there and they don’t sell anything and then they get nervous and then they cut their prices.

TF: And then it’s a race to the bottom.

MA: It just makes the problem worse. And so, probably the single number one thing we try to get our companies to do is raise prices. By the way, it’s like, “Is your product any good if people won’t pay more for it?”

from here.  ReformedBroker warms that up with:

Good advice is worth multiples of what a client pays for it. Mediocre advice is not worth a little less, it’s worth nothing because it won’t be adhered to.


Mournbrag

Look, the nature of grieving is weird, how are you gonna judge how somebody grieves?  (but the typo?!)

This book:

WIT

first got me to really thinking about this.

George HW and Barbara Bush lost a daughter to pediatric leukemia when she was four years old.  Cramer says that something like half of all couples that lose a child split up, because the ways that two people grieve can be so divergent and impossible, even offensive, for the other person to deal with.  The Bushes were determined not to let that happen to them (and they didn’t).

The instinct on Twitter to make someone’s death an opportunity for backhanded aggrandizement sets my nerves on edge.  I’m not sure why that particular thing gnaws at me so much.  Maybe because the whole point of the death of a noble guy, or death at all, might be to remind us how unimportant we are, or to encourage us to be better?

(Hardly a perfect model here: when SDB died I both wanted to talk about him and myself and also at the same time never talk about it.)

This dude David Carr was incredible, his death was shocking, the number of people he seemed to have touched directly is staggering.  In New York in 2009 I was talking to a girl who told me more or less unprompted about truly moving kindnesses and generosity David Carr had extended to her just out of excellence of character and goodness of spirit.

I’ll miss reading the guy’s stuff.  I was just reading his thing about Brian Williams because I’m sure he’d have something to say worth hearing.

Now this is a tribute:

If you can only have one sentence of writing advice, go with this:

“Keep typing until it turns into writing”

If you are prepared for an intense experience on the subject of death and grieving, might I recommend the American Experience “Death And The Civil War”?

If you’re rushed for time, allow me to summarize: the Civil War was a tremendous bummer.


reblog from bookbinderlocal455

gotta remember this re: consuming internet.

stirs something within you

i think about this constantly in marfa, where there is a non-stop stream of performance and art, which sometimes rob one of time to pursue his/her own work. via pitchfork:

“One of the problems of our modern world is that there’s a lot of things to work through, but, at some point, everybody should take a pause from that and make something, so that it’s not just all one-way traffic. Human beings aren’t meant to be solely consumers—eventually, something has to come out. Otherwise, I don’t really see what the point of all that consumption is. The idea behind watching things and listening to things is that it stirs something within you, and hopefully that will stimulate you to then create your own thing.”

Jarvis Cocker

 


75 million people

 

That’s how many people speak Telugu, a language I hadn’t heard of until yesterday when correspondent J-Mac sent us this gem from his vast readings, with the following commentary:

Presented without commentary.

IMG_1233Thanks J-Mac!  Among the speakers of Telugu, Wikipedia tells me, are the Sri Lankan Gypsy people:

They make their living by fortune telling, snake charming and using monkeys and dogs in performances.

India: interesting.

IMG_0751


“There’s gonna be a lotta days when you lay your guts on the line and come away empty-handed”

Good advice.

(h/t HelyTimes correspondent “Rob C.” in Auburn)


Effectiveness

Wouldn’t any truly effective person 1) listen rather than read, 2) insist on the abridged version 3) listen while driving?


Sean Connery

on “believability”:

PLAYBOY: This brings up a point raised by many of Fleming’s critics:  While conceding that Bond’s adventures are entertaining, they denounce him as a caricature of sex appeal, and his erotic exploits as impossibly farfetched. Do you feel that’s valid?

CONNERY: No, I don’t. The main concern for an actor or a writer is not believability but the removal of time, as I see it. Because I really think the only occasions you really are enjoying yourself, being happy, swinging, as they say, are when you don’t know what time it is–when you’re totally absorbed in a play, a film or a party and you don’t know what time it is or how long it has been going on; then you’ll usually find there is contentment and happiness. When an artist can suspend time like that for an audience, he has succeeded. It doesn’t really matter, I think, whether it is “believable” or not. The believability comes afterward; or it doesn’t. If you want to question it afterward, that’s up to you. But the writer’s and the actor’s job is to remove time–while you’re still in the book or the theater. That’s exactly what Fleming achieved for millions of readers; and that’s what I’ve tried to achieve in the Bond films.

on Ian Fleming:

CONNERY: He had great energy and curiosity and he was a marvelous man to talk to and have a drink with because of the many wide interests he had. What made him a success and caused all the controversy was that his writing was such good journalism. He always contrived extraordinary situations and arranged extravagant meetings for his characters, and he always knew his facts. He was always madly accurate, and this derived from his curiosity. When he was discussing anything, like how a truck worked or a machine or a permutation at bridge, there was a brain at work and an enormous amount of research involved; it wasn’t just a lot of drivel he was talking. That’s what I admired most about him–his energy and his curiosity.

possibly Romney-esque in politics?:

CONNERY: … This sort of motivation is the great thing that’s lacking in present-day society. Everything is so smooth-running, so attainable, that one is deprived of initiative, lured into a false sense of security. In the days before the War, with high unemployment, many people simply put in an appearance every morning at the factory although they knew there was no chance of work. Sheeplike, they felt they just had to go. Today everything’s handed to them on a platter:  They know they can get work and enough food, and socialized medicine has taken the worry out of being ill. If there is a malnutrition of any kind in this country–and I think there is–it’s self-inflicted. The only competition you’ll find today is the conflict between those few who try to correct a wrong, and the majority who hope it will just cure itself in the end.

a controversial view:

PLAYBOY: How do you feel about roughing up a woman, as Bond sometimes has to do?

CONNERY: I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman–although I don’t recommend doing it in the same way that you’d hit a man. An openhanded slap is justified–if all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning. If a woman is a bitch, or hysterical, or bloody-minded continually, then I’d do it. I think a man has to be slightly advanced, ahead of the woman. I really do–by virtue of the way a man is built, if nothing else. But I wouldn’t call myself sadistic. I think one of the appeals that Bond has for women, however, is that he is decisive, cruel even. By their nature women aren’t decisive–“Shall I wear this? Shall I wear that?”–and along comes a man who is absolutely sure of everything and he’s a godsend. And, of course, Bond is never in love with a girl and that helps. He always does what he wants, and women like that. It explains why so many women are crazy about men who don’t give a rap for them.

a recipe:

CONNERY: Well, for three or four people with some left over, I take a pound of the best beef and do it in olive oil and garlic for half an hour in a pot with a lid on it, so that all the juice is drained away from it, and while that’s going on I finely chop onions and carrots and have fresh tomatoes and tinned tomatoes all ready. Then I fry the carrots and the onions in butter, and once the steak has been cooking for about half an hour in the pot, I take it out and dice it up into squares–one- or two-inch squares–and then roll it in flour, salt, pepper and seasoning, and line the bottom of the bowl or stone dish. Then I cover all the meat with the onions and the carrots and the tomato–fresh and tinned–and the oil that’s left over in the juice that’s been taken from the meat I pour over the top. I then add a tube of Italian tomato purèe, and top it all off with either good stock or boiled water, and bake it in the oven for three hours and medium heat. It’s superb.

All these are from an interview in the Nov. 1965 issue of Playboy.