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5:25pm on Sunday, 13th May, 2007:

Peppermint Popcorn


Peppermint popcorn: I'd buy that, if I saw it in the shop. Would you buy it? Popcorn, yes, I like that; peppermint, I like that too. Peppermint popcorn sounds a bit unusual, but hey, it might be good! I'd give it a chance.

Of course, the odds are that it would be ghastly, but so what? I wouldn't find out until I'd bought it.

This is the business model that computer games companies use. They make the games, you buy the games, you don't like the games, but the developers don't care because you already paid for them by the time you find out.

It seems to me that this is a model that would work well for other industries, particularly ones that involve cheap-to-make products you can sell in supermarkets or airports or other impulse-buy places. You could set up a company that only ever made one-off runs of food or books or whatever, distribute them where people would say, "hey, that looks interesting!", and then a month later sell them something else. You wouldn't care that what you sold them was as useless as vanilla toothpaste, because you'd only plan for them to buy it once anyway.

Peppermint popcorn. You'd buy it if you saw it, you know you would...

Referenced by Sainsbury's Vignette.

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).