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Graybeard

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There are three classifications of commerce:

1.   The production of the means of production
2.   Production
3.   Services

To expand upon these:

1.   This is the obtaining of natural resources. Everything that naturally occurs from fruit to uranium. Things that are taken from the planet be they animate or inanimate; whether they require processing or not.
2.   This is the turning of the means of production into products, from apple pie to nuclear power
3.   This is the sector that will do something for you to save you the trouble or because you can’t do it yourself.

The boundaries are often blurred. A gold mine will extract gold-bearing ores as the production of the means of production but will also partially process it when it crushes the rocks and extracts gold into ingots.

A restaurant not only turning of the means of production (a fish) into products (menu items), which is production, it also serves food and washes up after you, which is a service.

It is the third sector that is relevant. It is, like the others, subject to market forces. To state what you already know:

As the supply rises, the price falls.
As demand rises, the price rises.

Demand is subdivided into
The intensity of the demand, which drives the price in direct proportion to that intensity.
The market size, which increases the potential, not the actual, demand.

Demand is created by:
Necessity -> water, food, shelter, in fact, the absolute necessities for life.
Desirability -> flavoured water, cooked food, convenient and secure shelter with enhanced protection from the elements.
Optional -> the availability of a choice of the Desirable items plus comfort, convenience, etc.
Luxury -> items that few have but that are symbols of wealth that are perceived by some to indicate success. Expensive wines, rare and superbly prepared foods, large and ornate houses, fast cars, aircraft, hand made designer clothes, servants, etc. In the past, say in biblical times, 200 wives, ornate armour, fine garments, sweet smelling oils, etc. set people aside - now there is much more choice.

Time for a quote:
Quote
"The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question “How can we eat?” The second by the question “Why do we eat?” And the third by the question “Where shall we have lunch?" Douglas Adams

So, armed with this information and to make your fortune you need to choose from among the 3 sections of commerce.

You have rejected the production of the means of production because you do not have vast tracts of arable land or a silver mine or the money to set yourself up with all the machinery.

You have rejected Production as the market is swamped and you don’t know what you would make, neither do you have the money to set yourself up with the premises and all the machinery.

This leaves you with Services. All services boil down to connecting the first two categories with each other and them with the customer whose problem you solve.

The question is, “Which service?”

The perfect service is something
a.   that is free to you,
b.   that requires you to perform simple maintenance to your own standard for a fee of your choosing,
c.   that solves a problem where the demand for the solution is maximally intense
d.   that is in constant demand
e.   that has an infinite market – everyone will always want it all the time
f.   that has 99.99% customer loyalty
g.   where customers encourage others to buy the product from you.
h.   where you are the final arbiter on the suitability of the product for its purpose.
i.   In which the product can generate no warranty claims nor can consumer organisations or competitors object or interfere.
j.   That is politically so powerful that governments will protect you and grant you special privileges.

OK, what’s the service?

Brain surgery? No. It fails on all points.

Curing cancer? No. Although the demand is maximally intense (c); the market is not infinite (e); you are not the final arbiter (f); the FDA, various health organisations and government will be all over you like a rash (j).

Drug dealing? No. Drugs aren’t free (a); there is no infinite market (e); you are likely to be killed by rivals (h & i);  Drugs squads will hunt you down (j).

Fixing a brain aneurism, curing a carcinoma and the provision of drugs all solve someone’s very real problem.

The key words are “very real problem.” But when we say "very real" we don't mean that the problem is "real" just that it appears that there is a problem. (Go and look at the person who is providing the service of making a "banana slicer" available to you on Amazon - was there a problem slicing bananas?)

In the world, there are things we can do something about and things that we can’t. There are no services for things we can do nothing about but there are plenty of services for the things that we can do something about, but none of the latter tick all the above boxes.

What you need to identify is a problem nobody can control and then control it. You have cornered a market, as long as you can persuade people that it is a problem and that you can solve it but, alone, they cannot. Oh, and yes, it has to tick all the above boxes.

The problem is death. The solution? Well, there isn’t one, but don’t let that stop you. Salvation with eternal life and a money-back guarantee if you don’t get to live with the god of your choice.

The perfect service is something
a.   that is free to you, (tick) A free holy book and a street corner, and you’re started.
b.   that requires you to perform simple maintenance to your own standard for a fee of your choosing, (tick) All you do is stand up and say things – best if they cannot be proven – and ask for money.
c.   that solves a problem where the demand for the solution is maximally intense. (tick) People will give all their money and more besides not to be dead.
d.   that is in constant demand (tick) Who wants to be dead when they could stop being dead?
e.   that has an infinite market – everyone will always want it all the time (tick) The population of the planet for all time, plus the populations of any planets that are discovered.
f.   that has 99.99% customer loyalty (tick) Caught young, they don’t escape.
g.   where customers encourage others to buy the product from you. (tick) complete strangers will engage others in the street and at their doors to tell them of the service you provide.
h.   where you are the final arbiter on the suitability of the product for its purpose. (tick) You tell them if they are using your product correctly; you can make up rules.
i.   In which the product can generate no warranty claims nor can consumer organisations or competitors object or interfere. (tick) How would this be possible? And if competitors do interfere, just tell your customers that they are to become martyrs and will reap the final reward. Dead customers do not complain.
j.   That is politically so powerful that governments will protect you and grant you special privileges. (tick) “In God we Trust”

Religion. The perfect scam service.






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