June 20, 2014

I’m not aware of any successful business that was built on benevolence. Businesses are built on profit. Some choose to make less profit by charging less and/or giving consumers more; others maximize profits by charging more and/or giving consumers less. As a consumer, I’m all for the former and begrudgingly accept the latter. But I’m fine with either model, because at the end of the day, I make the final choice to give my money to certain businesses in return for their goods/services.

But that’s the rub – choice. In almost any market, choice evolves from competition, which for the most part is good for consumers. I look at our industry, technology (as a whole), as a great example. Competition is fierce in almost every sector, which has resulted in better products at lower costs. This has actually been a boon for the industry and consumers/businesses alike.

But competition comes at a price. Standard-bearers fade into history while the newest or nimblest flourish, until many of them become unable to evolve with the technological advancements. This impacts peoples’ lives/jobs, which can be difficult to swallow, especially for those not walking away with golden parachutes. But difficult doesn’t make it wrong or a bad thing.

Politicians have a pathological fear of their constituents’ being difficult in any manner. It’s not because they want their voters to have an easy life; they just want them to continue voting them into office. So the government (local, state, and federal) will make a lot of decisions for consumers. Some decisions are to protect the consumers; others are to protect the profits of businesses, thus hoping to protect the jobs of their voters (not that one equals the other).

The article below focuses on NJ, but there are numerous states enacting laws to prevent cars from being sold by any other means than through dealers. The particular target of this campaign is Tesla Motors (founder is Elon Musk). While I have yet to read a reasoned response from any state government as to why this is better for consumers, the most obvious reason is to protect the dealerships from direct competition (where pricing just might be better without the middleman). Just wonder why car dealers should get special treatment. (Better donors?)

I’m a big Elon Musk fan, so I’m siding with him on this fight. Dealers don’t want the competition, but it’s that competition which will eventually benefit the consumer. If I was a dealer, I’d probably fight him, too. But I’m not, and I think the government and dealers’ arguments against Tesla and other manufacturers who may want to sell direct are disingenuous.

Tesla pushes NJ bill to follow NY lead allowing direct sales

#PokeTheBear

June 12, 2014

It’s amazing how a growing workload will derail even our most fervent plans to maintain a consistent social media presence. It’s a good and bad deal (way more good than bad), but we have missed posting regular content on our various outlets (blog, Twitter [@Syzygy3], and Facebook [like us]). So we have resolved (we’ve typed this before) to make a more concerted effort to get materials out there (we have a backlog of about 50 articles on which we want to comment).

So we will return to our regular blog posting schedule of every Thursday at 12p NYC time (that equates to some local time wherever you happen to be). You can again plan your weeks around this posting, which is why we chose the lunch hour. Just evens out the day.

As for Twitter and Facebook – they will also be adorned with more posts about things that interest us. Won’t all be tech related; in fact, you never know what we’ll post next. To help you to simply identify our posts (outside of our account name), we’ll post all items under the #PokeTheBear tag. While it’s meant mainly to garner conversation among others, we think it will be apropos to utilize all over the place (and we just really like that expression).

While this posting didn’t really give you anything but a recurring calendar entry, we think you were entertained. If you weren’t, then what’s the matter with you?

#PokeTheBear