VCM Idiocy

Warren Wolfe wizard at
Fri Jan 19 13:21:15 CST 2007

On Fri, 2007-01-19 at 04:13 -0800, Sellam Ismail wrote:

> M H Stein said:
> > I suspect that if he really did give eBay a run for its money and 
> > someone offered him a bag full of money (not so ridiculous these days), 
> > he just might say yes.
> Yeah, you know what?  Under the right conditions I probably would, because 
> I just can't see myself still running something like that when I'm your 
> age.

    Ooh, good one.  I'll bet he STILL feels that.  So, from this, a few
other clues, and your personal hate mail to me, I take it that you have
decided that insulting your potential customers en masse isn't effective
(or personal) enough, and that you intend to insult them all one-by-one?
So...  What are you doing this afternoon?  I find it hard to believe
that someone attempting to run a business in a hobbyist community would
be so starkly DIM that they would see insulting customers as anything
other than micturating in their own well.

    Starting a business is hard work, and success is difficult.  About
75% of businesses fail in the first five years.  Marketplace businesses,
such as auction sites, REQUIRE large numbers of sellers, and large
numbers of buyers to function efficiently.  With an utterly dominating
force, eBay, which has become a cultural icon, in place, it is
exceptionally difficult to even get started, let alone prosper, even if
it is a big company, with plenty of publicity and financial backing.
Ask Yahoo! if you don't believe me.  They haven't made a dent in eBay,
and they're a powerhouse on the 'Net.

    The best a competitor can hope for is a niche market, a small group
they cater to, and whose special needs become paramount to the
competitor.  Feeding off the edges of a market dominated by a giant is a
workable strategy, albeit difficult and somewhat limited in scope.
Making a venture in such a market requires a nearly fanatical devotion
from the members of that niche, who rely on personal loyalty, rather
than their own self-interest, to make their decisions.  At the risk of
stating the obvious, fostering an adversarial relationship with much of
that community essentially guarantees failure.  The only reasonable spin
I can put on your actions is that you need VCM to fail for tax purposes.
Failing that, I cannot see a reason which does not involve massive
immaturity and lack of emotional control, a financial death wish,
stupidity bordering on organic brain damage, or combinations of those
factors.  By all means, if I have missed something, let me know.  What
in bloody blue blazes were you trying to accomplish with your tirade
against both eBay and your potential customers?

    (By the way, while I feel it inappropriate for the list, or any
other civilized or pseudo-civilized discussion, anyone who wishes to see
the e-mail exchange between Sellam and myself should e-mail me off-list,
and I will be happy to send them a copy.)


            Warren E. Wolfe
            wizard at

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