Category Archives: Shameless

I miss school

Matt misses school. I miss school, too. Sometimes I think about returning as a part-time or auditing student. I would definitely be a much better student now but what matters most is that I would be able to engage the teachers without fear. I used to be scared to say anything to a teacher.

I think that feeling stems from the way my second grade teacher scolded me for my precocious objection to her rule that “you can’t subtract a bigger number from a smaller number.” I went in knowing about negative numbers and I came out embarrassed and confused and unable to trust teachers.

I vowed that I would quit school as soon as I could. Fortunately I forgot about my vow until my third year in college. 🙂

Happy Holidays from four animals

Olive has a superpower.
She turns to look at Zoe before Zoe sneezes.
Her other superpower is hearing impairment.

Jeffrey just wants to chase a ball.
Nothing else matters except cars driving by.
That, and a shady place to drink and rest.

Nero wants to be fed.
After that he wants to clean his teeth in your hair.
He is gato loco.

Hazel is gata loca.
Usually she spies and hides.
When she comes around it’s a treat.

They want you to know
they will be enjoying their holidays this year
and so should you.

To Time Warner Cable

What’s wrong with charging internet subscribers per gigabyte? When you pin your rates to an index that is guaranteed to rise faster than costs in order to increase profits, your risk remains pinned to customer retention. This business is sums, not rocket calculus.

The first thing you did wrong was to pick a margin so greedy as to be unjustifiable. Many consumers know or at least feel that half a dollar is too much to pay for a gigabyte of network traffic. Moderately savvy consumers would complain if rates were more than a few cents per gigabyte.

The second thing you did wrong was to try to profit most on the subscribers most likely to feel the inequity. The more bandwidth a person uses, the more likely they can understand their own usage habits in terms of gigabytes; the more likely they have a reality-based idea of the costs; the more likely they are to voice their righteous complaints publicly, educate other consumers, and threaten to subscribe elsewhere.

Many of them also know that they are good customers; they don’t consume your low-value, high-cost call center or web portal resources, they just want cheap, reliable bandwidth. These are the very people you should have favored when crafting your rate plans. Instead you underestimated and insulted them. Now they are clamoring to the competition, it is time to show them consideration. Whatever rate you settle on, it well be easier to swallow because it involves a concession. It was wise of you to test high rates on small markets.

The trump card that allows free consumers to demand a fair deal is the ability to decline the deal. Are consumers free if they believe your service is a necessity of life? Assuming people need your service, you can get away with outrageous rates if the competition colludes rather than competes. This would leave an opening in the market for low-rate providers if you hadn’t already locked it shut by lobbying for fixed-cost regulations that only established providers can afford. You’re pretty smart after all.