If Obama Ran A Business

Discussion in 'Politics' started by bugscoe, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. Closed market’s valediction ironically explains its failure

    There are few things more annoying than people blaming their failures on others. There are few things more ironically humorous than watching a clueless person publicly scold people and in the process reveal his or her own ignorance. And since examples of both at the same time come along so rarely, we have to take a good look at the Boston Herald’s report on the closing of Don Otto’s Market, a niche food market in Boston’s South End, where the management briefly posted a tirade against its customers for failing to buy what the owners demanded:
    Actually, it was more revealing than McLaughlin realizes. Perhaps she has spent too much time in Barney Frank’s district (he was a customer), but businesses don’t succeed by telling customers what they should want to buy. Customers have this annoying tendency to know how they want to spend their own money, and businesses succeed by adapting to demand, not demanding that customers adapt to the owner’s own tastes in supply. And if people wanted to “invest” in Don Otto’s, they would have bought stock in it rather than food they don’t want at prices that discouraged sales.

    In a way, though, this is an allegory of elitism in general. McLaughlin couldn’t pass laws to make sure that people could only buy her $28-per-pound steak, but she certainly sounds as if she would have done so if given the opportunity. Her contempt for her customers is not dissimilar to the contempt shown by those in political office who pass laws barring restaurants from using saturated fats in their cooking, who ban Happy Meals, and who overhaul entire economic sectors because they believe people can’t make their own choices.

    It looks as though McLaughlin at least learned that blaming customers for not surrendering to her diktats in the name of “investment” makes for bad public relations. The valediction has disappeared from the website, replaced by a simple notice that Don Otto’s is closed.

    Update: It looks as though arrogance really was the business plan, and it only took six months to fail. Lee Doren sent over a Boston Globe story from May reporting on the new ownership and its goals:
    And customers’ shopping habits rely on how much things cost in relation to value as they perceive it, a lesson Otto learned the hard way. There is nothing wrong with trying a business model and failing; that’s how innovation works. But it’s beyond arrogant to blame customers for not paying exorbitant amounts of money for items they didn’t perceive as valuable just to support a failing business model.
  2. Hello


    If Obama Ran A Business

    It would be bankrupt. Thats all that needs to be said.
  3. Sounds like Whole Foods on steroids. She seems to think that a person's monthly food bill should dwarf their mortgage. Ironically, with all the strategic defaulters, her small window of opportunity has probably been the past year or so.

    But it does beg a very important question. At some point, these elitist haute couture niche supermarkets price themselves out of clients for one very simple reason. It costs more to buy food from them than to go to a restaurant and have it prepared for you. If a client is spending $400 per week on meats, well that's 5 times they could go out and blow $80 at a restaurant per week, certainly a good sized budget for these big spenders.