Opinion: Boom crash opera

By Ian Yates on Oct 2, 2008 8:34 AM
Filed under Finance

Here in the tech sector most of us seem to be ignoring the financial meltdown on Wall Street and all the other streets around the world which are home to a stock exchange.

Whether that’s because we all think we’re immune, or whether we’re just resigned to feeling helpless is anybody’s guess.

There might just be a smidgeon of “serves them right” as we anticipate the spectacle of legions of smarty-pants merchant bankers leaping from their high-rise office windows.

The fact that nobody is cheering is no doubt due to the uneasy feeling that they won’t be going down alone – even if we don’t personally own any shares, our superannuation funds have plenty of our money invested in those hare-brained lending schemes.

But meanwhile, here in tech-land it’s more or less business as usual for the moment.

Mozilla is offering $3K to the smartest retention marketer who can come up with the right pitch to convince people to actually use the browser they’ve downloaded – hint, make it better to use than any other browser. Nah, that’s too obvious.

Yahoo and Google want to cuddle up and blast even more adverts onto the pages of whichever retention marketing program we succumb to, and US regulators think it’s a good idea to let them, since regulating the market is bad and causes…oh wait…didn’t they already try that no regulation gig in the banking sector?

Yeah, maybe, but Yahoo and Google aren’t going to be lending money to people with no income, no jobs and no assets.

They just want to advertise to them, to convince them to spend their…oh wait…maybe they will have to get into the credit business after all.

Hands up if you think they could possibly a worse job than the Wall Street crowd.

Elsewhere, Nokia has chucked in its efforts to create yet another email platform for business users.

The Finnish phone freaks have decided to concentrate on selling the system to consumers instead, now that somebody in the retention marketing division has noticed that business users are quite happy with Microsoft’s Exchange.

Hah! Almost had you there. In fact they really hate it but they’re stuck with it, and all they can do is pray the next version will be really, really cool and work as advertised.

But Nokia has capitulated and hopes that consumers will like their mobile email service.

Those that haven’t already switched to an iPhone just might, given enough retention marketing directed their way.

Closer to home, which is to say, right here at home, Lan1 has bought Blue Sky Industries which takes me back a long way.

I bought my first external hard drive from Blue Sky back in 1982 and it was a massive 40MB and cost about $5K from memory.

We couldn’t get the thing to work and sent it back, and got a no questions asked refund.

That was our introduction to their legendary customer service that hasn’t lessened in the last 29 years, leading finally to their acquisition by Lan1, another outfit that has always stood by its products regardless.

Maybe we really should have put more faith in our tech companies and sent less money to the merchant bankers after all.

Retention marketing campaigns not withstanding of course. Well, surely, it’s some kind of retentive.
 
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