View Full Version : Fictional story to tell non-techies

08-30-2001, 08:21 PM
This story is FICTION - and any similarity to any person live or dead - any business, organisation or entity - or any event in the real world or cyberspace is purely coincidental.


KwikZeeMart is a successful store in my town. It's a successful store thanks to the hard-work and business expertise of the owner Abu KwikZee.

One day, I decide to open my rival store - EvilMart.

I do not have better or cheaper products than KwikZeeMart. I do not have loyal customers. Still I need a way to take away their business.

I could start by throwing camouflage netting over KwikZeeMart. A few sharp eyed people might see through the netting and buy from KwikZeeMart , but many won't.

On the door, I could also stick a "Closed" sign: "Please go to EvilMart round the corner"

I could also cover the KwikZeeMart's big expensive electric sign. I would not change it, I will just overlay it. I will just put a huge sticker with an ad for my store on top of it.

If KwikZeeMart distributes any marketing brochures, literature etc., I could place a sticker on top of these too, with the name, address, etc., of my store on top. I could also change the recommendations on the marketing literature, so where it says Abu recommends XYZ, the XYZ is covered with a sticker saying ABC (ABC is of course only available at my store).

Finally, I could have my sales people wondering the aisles at KwikZeeMart . If any potential customer picks up an item, my salesperson could say "Hang on, why don't you come over to EvilMart instead". Perhaps also applying a green or yellow sticker, overlaying the item in question.

Abu, owner of KwikZeeMart, can still pay his landlord for the renting his store.

Abu can still pay for lighting up his electric sign.

Abu can also still pay for distributing his marketing literature.

This is probably all be fair and legal, right (?!?!?!)

After all, I would only helping people see the information in a different way. I would not actually alter anything at KwikZeeMart - just "overlay" it.


My attorney reviews the plan. While "overlaying" may be legal, he says that I would be physically infringing on KwikZeeMart's property - which is probably illegal. (A techie friend, tells me that in the computer world my initial plan would be the equivalent of hacking into KwikZeeMart's server)

So okay, I won't actually physically do these items.

I will instead distribute sunglasses which give the appearance of these effects. I will make the wearing of such glasses required or virtually required when a person obtains some other unrelated item.

Now I think that I have a plan that might be fair and legal. Right (!?!?!)


I would need a way to get people to wear my special sunglasses.

Obviously I am concerned that people may not to put on the sunglasses of their own accord, or may take them off later.

(I also have been informed the sunglasses may make some people go a bit dizzy and fall-over, but I won't worry about that for now, except insofar as it might cause people to take off the glasses).

I call up my friend Kevin (I like to call him Kevaa). Kevaa will give away free music CDs and DVDs. The sunglasses will be included with every one of these CDs and DVDs.

I am not actually sure that the CDs/DVDs in question belong to Kevaa in the first place, but that's his problem. I am happy as long as he keeps dishing out the sunglasses.

Kevaa will install the sunglasses on his, er, customers when he gives them access to the free CDs and DVDs. The sunglasses are sticky (is that superglue on the rims?) which might make them hard to take off once put on.

I am sure that this would be okay, as Kevaa will include a note with the sunglasses saying "Provides a better view of the world, and helps you see things you'll like". So users are opting in.


I thought further on opening the EvilMart store.

Obviously I do not want to go to the time, trouble and expense of actually opening and running a store.

Instead I will provide my "sunglasses-marketing-service" to any store that wants to crush a rival, in return for paying me.

I may also just crush a few stores to demonstrate the effectiveness of my "guerilla marketing" sunglasses. This might also encourage the soon-to-be-crushed to pay me too - to avoid them being crushed by the sunglasses steamroller-marketing machine.

A perfect business plan?


Some weeks later...

I implemented my sunglasses idea, and now I am getting a lot of criticism for it.

Some of my victims - sorry slip of the tongue - I mean "stores that I'm providing an enhanced view of", are upset and looking at taking legal or consumer-pressure measures against me.

"No!" I say. "It's matter of consumer choice. People can wear whatever sunglasses they like!"

08-30-2001, 10:29 PM
:D I wish you had written that a couple of weeks ago when I was attempting to tell everyone on my email list about theftware!

(you have a great imagination by the way) :p

08-30-2001, 10:39 PM
Jan, or anybody else, please feel free to pass on the entire story or URL to this thread if it helps you, or your list, or your friends, better understand some of these issues

By the way,
1. while the story is mine, the sunglasses analogy was not originally created by me. I have seen the same/similar analogy (specifically referring to see pepsi instead of coke billboards on a highway, i.e. could be considered to be sort of like gator) used in several other articles.
2. I tried to make the story include several potentially relevant/interesting topics, other than just the overlaying
3. I don't really have a friend called Kevin... :)

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