Franchises Squeezed by Dollar Menus

I read an article about this a few months ago and this seems to be a follow on to that original article.  Anyhow, I’m quite guilty of eating off of fast food value menus exclusively lately and ordering free cups of water instead of a bottled water.  It’s a great value for me, but I can see how this (particularly customers not buying soft drinks) hurts franchise owners as commodity prices rise and they can’t raise food prices to reflect this.  It’s a tough problem and I see both sides of the argument — a squeeze on the franchise owner and the company, on the whole, fighting for market share.  The rising price of commodities is making everyone’s life miserable.  Anyhow, here’s a link to the articles.

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Michael Eisner — Online Video Believer

This blog entry from CNET highlights some of the recent things Michael Eisner has said as a strong advocate of and investor in online video. I really like how he has taken a strong leadership position on this and has put his money where his mouth is. No doubt he’s positioning himself to be one of the early kings of the mainstream digital revolution. I also think, eventually, his faith and investments will pay him handsomely once we figure out this world of online entertainment.

I personally love the idea of enabling content providers to be able to distribute content (TV, movies, music, books, magazine, and what not) internationally — translated into many different languages, and localized for many different cultures. This could spawn new business models for content delivery and empower fans to translate and localize to their heart’s content, while getting paid via a micro-payment system or whatever other creative scheme we could come up with. More than anything, I think something like this would expand everyone’s entertainment choices and make the world “smaller” by exposing everyone to cultures outside of their own. I don’t know if this would lead to world peace though understanding, but I do know that this would change the world by breaking down barriers and expanding the entertainment creative space. Can you imagine the wonderful things that could come about as different cultures influence one another on a larger, faster, and more connected scale? There would truly be international stars who may not necessarily be American. I get all teary eyed just thinking about the possibilities and the MONEY. I want this soooo very much!

Consumer Electronics Super Buyers

Here’s an interesting article from Marketing Daily.   Here’s a fact from the article that dismays me:

Nearly 40% of survey respondents who earn less than $35,000 and spend $2,000 or more annually perceive consumer electronics products as too expensive, compared with 25% of those who average yearly salaries between $75,000 and $99,999.

I wonder who the folks that make under $35K a year are.  Are they folks with families or are they students or people who are still living with their parents so they don’t have to pay for the necessities of life?  I guess I’m not surprised to see this, considering that within my own family, the ones that are in poverty generally have better electronic stuff than my-geeky-self.  But they, also, have hungry children and are in a constant state of being on the edge of eviction and days away from having their utilities disconnected.  What’s messed up is that they may be better customers than families with more money, so it’s tempting to advertise to them to get that money they are so easily willing to part with.  Usually, this is associated with some terrible credit purchasing terms.  Half of me feels very guilty about preying upon this segment of poor consumers.  The other half of me says, “you reap what you sow,” and feels no pity when folks with illogical priorities find themselves in trouble.  At the same time, though, you can’t get money from someone who has none, so in the end, this kind of culture of illogical priorities coupled with greed catches up with society, like it has in the US now.