Creating a new market

When microsoft announced a subscription service to tackle spyware, I thought it was an interesting move. In fact, it reminded of a story my friend used to say. Here is the story:


Long ago, there was a salesman whose job was to sell maintenance contracts for fax machines. He would go around and pitch this idea to local businesses and as expected very few folks were interested in signing up for a maintenance contract for their fax machines. The simple reason was that fax machines had very few issues. They worked well!

The salesman was smart. After waiting for a couple of days, he would pick a few businesses (out of the ones that he visited recently) and fax them a black sheet of paper. Obviously, some of these business owners would get worried and would want to get their fax machines fixed. Since he had visited them recently, they would call him to discuss the maintenance contract. The salesman would make an offer they couldn’t refuse. He would say that if they signed on the same day, he would get the fax machine fixed under the new maintenance contract – free of charge.



I am NOT asking you to draw any parallels here. You make your own assessments.