Usedcarsalesman is going to take two to four weeks, follow the path of many other "bloggers" and move his operation/archive over to MovableType's Type Pad service. Google's Blogger has been a cool service.
Take a minute and enjoy this intro (in German) from the 80's He Man Cartoons
(Note: He-Man sounds like he is getting ready to invade Russia in the winter or something :P )
Risk. Every business from the publicly-trades Walmarts to the sole proprietorships of the world hates the word. Still, some people seem to think that when businesses roll-the-dice, commit financial resources to bring a new product to market, open a new store, or provide a new service they hit a home-run every time. That, the market bangs on the doors of the newly opened store, there are lines around the block, stock prices and year-end bonuses soar, or a small businessperson providing a new service goes home a hero, right? No. Understandably, this risk of failure makes businesses, large to small, a little slow and cautious about doing new things in the market.
But what is the flip-side of this? What happens when consumers seek to buy products and services which business from the publicly traded company to the sole proprietorship have yet to perhaps a fear of failure (or perhaps due to lack of market awareness)? Usedcarsalesman and probably millions, if not billions of other people, fall under this description of a demand not being met with a supply on a regular basis. The following is an example of this:
Usedcarsalesman often drives the roads of Los Angeles alone in a Jeep Wrangler, a small vehicle by today’s standards that weights 3400lbs and can seat 4 people. And, he often sees before him 4-6 lanes of traffic filled with individual cars seating a single driver like himself. It causes Usedcarsalesman some dismay when he recognizes that he is on a highways that is typically 40-60 feet wide, one-way, and is enabling the conveyance of a mere 4-6 people at any given cross-section - when the highways could easily accommodate 8-12 or more people at any given cross-section, were they driving vehicles of a different design (Yes, most states have long since realized this and rewarded people driving vehicles with a passenger by allowing them to use the HOV lanes – High Occupancy Vehicle lanes). But, this access at best provides an incentive to have a mere 1 additional person on any given cross section of road).
What would Usedcarsalesman, the “buying public” in this case, prefer to drive and see other people drive in LA? How about - and, feel free to copy and paste the following in a certain auto manufacturers CONTACT US form - a "safe, comfortable, roomy vehicle that weights about 1000lbs, seats one or two people in-line, takes up about the same area on the road as a large motorcycle, gets about 100mpg or is electrically powered or hybrid, goes 0-60 in about 3 seconds, and can even use an advanced GPS-based auto-pilot traffic system to self-drive to a destination, and stickers for under $20,000." How many of these sorts of more environmentally and traffic friendly vehicles could you fit on any given cross-section of 4-6 lane highway infrastructure? Probably 8-12 (meaning 8-12 drivers versus the typical 4-6 drivers; maybe 15-17 if people in these were licensed to drive motorcycle-style down the center between lanes). Traffic congestion? It would probably be cut in half were all to drive such vehicles on the LA highways. And, if an accident occurred, a collision of two such smaller narrower vehicles would likely be that much easier to get around.
But, the reality is that not everybody can drive such a 1-2 seat vehicle. If you have a family, are doing business, trying to do household errands or even arrest(!) people, such a ride isn’t going to work. With this and capricious consumer tastes in mind, it’s remains Risky for a Car or Motorcycle manufacturer to make such a vehicle: jobs are on the line, capital is one the line, reputations are at stake.
But, what would happen if Usedcarsalesman and the “buying public” spoke and were heard by manufacturers who could produce such a vehcile. If, say, Toyota suddenly received 100,000 emails from residents of California who had environmental and traffic concerns and who argued that they were in the market for a vehicle such as the one Usedcarsalesman described? With this evidence of consumer interest, would not the perceived Risk diminish significantly for the manufacturer? Do you not think that the Toyota CEO would be interested in capitalizing on this 2 billion dollars of worth of new potential sales from a market that just announced its presence so clearly and vociferously? And, do you not think that Honda, Nissan, Subaru, BMW, GM, Ford would be looking to compete for those sales and add their own designs to the mix? Exactly. All we have to do is ask.
(Now, sure, you might contend that some consumers are better able to communicate with business than others, to let business know what products and services they demand. You might contend that some consumers will have a clearer idea of what they want and what would serve the needs of the larger public more than others. And, that, maybe, some consumers might serve as focal points for a particular market – presenting product ideas to business and generating support for these ideas from the buying public. You might say, “I know such people are out there, I just don’t know where they are.” Usedcarsalesman says that if you are reading this, you, like he, are probably one of them.)