Selling rain gears on sunny day


I still remember watching “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg“, a French musical film.

Of course, more umbrellas are sold when it rains. But when it “never rains in Southern California“, how would marketers manage?

The answer: rain making. And yes they did!

I was sitting on the top bleacher of Sea World, San Diego. And there they were, selling rain gears on a bright sunny day.

Those merchandise sold like popcorn. Even had the Sea World logo on them.

The catch: so you don’t get wet when Shamu splashes water all over you (supposedly a VIP treatment).

American capitalism at its best:  selling ice-cream to Eskimo.

Value-creating.

Young people finally say something: they are “Occupying Wall Street.”

Never too late (if there were to be a double-dip Recession).

The floor has been primarily occupied by the likes of Mr Buffett, who deserves and got a tax-hero medal.

But UBS?

Today’s culture of Wall Street makes yesterday’s Gordon Gekko look like an altar boy.

Greed is good. More greed is better.

At least, Mark Zuckerberg is still seen in his signature T-shirt (the only time he was seen in suit and tie was on Facebook town hall with President Obama).

Now, it’s LinkedIn’s turn to hold a virtual town hall (The Age of Participatory).

Hint: you can send in a lengthier question, at least, longer than 140 characters.

And maybe, promote yourself into a job.

After all, it’s LinkedIn.

I sold school magazines, defunct currency and fax machines when I first started out.

I can always tell when customers are satisfied (after-sales gratitude, or landing my first date after pitching our school magazine).

The decoupling of bankers-borrowers, buyers and sellers have led to current debacle. We need rain makers, not rogue traders. But most of all, we need satisfied customers who will act as evangelists.

The culture of commerce had existed long before technology or currency came along (Silk Road).

Technology only facilitates and accelerates the exchange. By no means it should replace the handshake or  trust-building.

I saw the joy of those people who put on Sea-World ponchos that day. They still had them on when the show was over.

They inadvertently acted as Sea World’s walking bill boards. Now, that’s capitalism at its best: a win-win proposition that is sustainable.

When you are happy, it’s a musical, like “Singing in the Rain” or as I can still recall Les Parapluies de Cherbourg or Sea World. In the Last Lecture, Randy recalled his childhood trip to Disney World that had turned career-forming for him. Help people experience, and they in turn,  help you with yours.

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