Friday, February 10, 2012

David and Goliath

Hi.  I’m David, and I run an on-line fruit business.  I’ve been in business for nearly 25 years, carrying on the business from my father and his father.  And pleasing our customers has allowed us to stay in business all these years. 
One reason, I believe, that I’ve been able to stay in business is the fact that I can sell any number of combinations of fruit depending on the particular taste of my customers.  For example, I have some customers who love my kiwi, and that’s all they order.  I have other customers who love my kiwi and mangos, and they load up on both.  Still there are others that order nearly every line of fruit we offer.  That gets fairly pricey, but they keep returning, so we must be doing something right.  We’ve always believed that satisfying the needs and wants of customers comes first.

However, things are changing.

The government called the other day and said I had to change the way I sell my fruit.  They explained that I could no longer customize my fruit orders for my customers.  The government said I had to make all fruit orders the same.  The penalty for not complying would be fines, seizure of my business, and even jail.  Full compliance was non-negotiable. 

All fruit orders, according to new government regulations, must contain 13 specific types of fruit.  The government also said this was subject to change, and for me to be on the lookout for new fruit basket rules.  This will not please my customers who just want kiwi or kiwis and mangos.  In fact, this won’t please most of my customers.  All this will do is increase prices and waste fruit.  

This may be my last year of selling fruit.  I don’t particularly care for the government telling me how to run my business.  I’ve heard of other industries being taken over like mine was, and the outcome wasn’t good.  You see, the government wrongly believes it knows the exact needs and wants of all my customers, but this is false.  Over time, some of my customers’ tastes change.  Some who only wanted oranges now want just papayas.  The government isn’t privy to the taste preferences of all my customers.  Since they don’t know – can’t know!, they simply impose their own tastes on everyone.  Like it or not, all fruit orders will contain the government-mandated fruit.

Those arrogant bastards.  They’ve reduced all 300 million of us into one single, plain vanilla, garden variety nitwit and forced upon us one standard – their standard.  If we don’t like it – too bad.  You’re no longer an individual, but a collective member of society assumed to possess no preferences of your own, lest you be chided for selfishness.  Conform or be jailed.

I hear government wants to try this experiment with other industries as well.  Things aren't looking up. 

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