19 February 2009

Yes, we will continue with the discussion.

I mentioned in my last post corporate greed. Please don't misunderstand me to think that I am a socialist. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I like America. I like the fact that a person can work hard, be inventive and make it all the way to the top. But also, let's not forget that sometimes hard work just doesn't pay off. If it did the Mexicans on the planet would rule the world. Most I know are very hard workers!

The problem lies in that little bitty word - greed. Over the past few decades we have witnessed the death of integrity, personal integrity, honesty, and basically the "do what is right" choice of self sacrifice for the greater good. We even sat by and allowed the definition of is to be challenged.

When the highest ruling body in the world, ie our government, sets an example of allowing votes to be purchased instead of earned, it tells the world that money is the rule of law. Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland, General Electric, Peanut Corporation of America, all thought that they could skirt important issues because they had a lot of money to give to politicians to make their problems go away. Our government has become Vito Corleone so to speak.

Large corporations have an obligation to the public. Many would argue with me over that thought. However, I really think they do. If the public chooses not to use their products or service they suffer. Take Disney for example. When I was a girl, we would go to Disneyland maybe once every three to four years. You would get a specific number of tickets, each with a grade, when you used that ticket, you were done or you could purchase additional tickets. The grades were from A to E. E tickets were for the best rides. Only you didn't get enough to go on all the best rides, just a few. You had to make the choice which ones you were going to go on and which would have to be ridden on another visit. It was a good way to teach the concept of decision making and good choices. There weren't huge lines to stand in, there were crowds but not like the crowds of today. Today one price gets you into the park, on all the rides, and as many times as you choose. Sounds like a great deal! I can go on Splash Mountain until the cows come home! Well, that is if I didn't mind standing in line for eight hours to go on the ride four times. You see now Disney also sells as many tickets in a day as possible. No longer is the park and adventure for the day. It is an exercise in patience, futility and frustration. Unless you choose to go on a rainy day, or a random day that for some reason the park on has a few visitors like 15,000 instead of the usual 25,000 (all vying for the same 12 rides).

Is it wrong that Disney has chosen to manage their park this way? Well, no, people flock to it still. However, would it be a better choice to limit attendance and make the experience all that much better for their patrons? Of course it would. The rule of economics is to offer an excellent product, at a fair price and the people will flock to your door. And, if you limit the opportunity, people will usually stand in line to get a chance to be a part of it.

All I'm saying is it is time to prudent. Think about your customers and the experience they have at your business. Are they really just a mass of people that give you money and you don't care if they are there or not? Or does it matter if they return again and again because it was a great way to spend their money?

Think about it. Comment.