Optimism and Deception

Dated Nov 6, 2019; last modified on Sat, 27 Mar 2021

Entrepreneurs frequently have grand ambitions of impacting their world. Some are lucky, others are deluded, and some are con artists. In this section, I explore cases that skirt these boundaries.

 Random Link ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Oct 7, 2020 » Fables in Service of Capitalism 2 min; updated Nov 6, 2021 Over the last 70 years, less than 10% of plastic waste has been recycled - it’s uneconomical. Recycling shifts attention from the environmental impact of plastics and their overproduction to the consumer’s willingness to recycle. Reducing and reusing is a much better environmental strategy. Slots are increasingly designed for addiction, e.g. quick simple games, adding “near misses”, more ways to win (and therefore more “near misses” if one doesn’t bet on the additional ways), losses disguised as wins, random but weighted outcomes.... Feb 17, 2019 » The Shady Economics of Buy-One-Get-One Free Deals [The Hustle] 1 min; updated Sep 2, 2021 The Shady Economics of Buy-One-Get-One Free Deals. Zachary Crockett. https://thehustle.co/are-buy-one-get-one-free-deals-worth-it/ . Feb 17, 2019. BOGO goods are usually low-demand, non-efficient, lacking in quality and/or close to the expiration date. The BOGO deal is usually a 50% discount off of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). And oftentimes, this price is artificially marked up to begin with. MyPillow offered BOGO deal on their pillows, but really just doubled the price of the first pillow.... Jan 24, 2021 » Is The Price Right? 2 min; updated Sep 2, 2021 Motivated by the markup done by LensCrafters Terms like “medical-grade”, “military-grade” and “organic” often make consumers over-estimate the products' good qualities. Sometimes the test itself is too easy to pass. For instance, “military-grade” comes from specs by the military to enable interchangeability between manufacturers. Saying something is military-grade without quoting some mil-spec, e.g. shock tests, is bogus. Costco Kirkland is more likely to be high quality because Costco demands it from the supplier.... Apr 1, 2005 » The Submarine [Paul Graham] 1 min; updated Sep 2, 2021 The Submarine. Paul Graham. http://www.paulgraham.com/submarine.html . Apr 1, 2005. Many people rely on social proof to form opinions; therein lies the power of PR. PR firms are not dishonest for they need good reputation with news outlets. But PR firms serve overworked reporters with selective truths. The firms feed the same story to different publications at once. Readers see similar stories in multiple places and assume a new trend has come.... Nov 5, 2019 » AT&T to pay $60m in settlement for slowing cellphone data on unlimited plans 1 min; updated Sep 2, 2021 AT&T to pay$60m in settlement for slowing cellphone data on unlimited plans. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-at-t-settlement/att-will-pay-60-million-over-u-s-allegations-it-lied-in-unlimited-data-pledge-government-idUSKBN1XF26Q . Nov 5, 2019. Complaint filed in 2014 by the FTC: AT&T charged smartphone users for ‘unlimited’ data plans, but throttled them after ~2GB within a month. AT&T: None of these allegations were ever proved in court. We were fully prepared to defend ourselves, but decided settling was in the best interests of consumers.... Oct 1, 2018 » The Wolf that Tried to Play Nice [SoECS] 1 min; updated Mar 14, 2021 AT&T restricted FaceTime from running on some data plans. Justifications? FaceTime is preloaded, therefore 100% of users have it FaceTime wasn’t efficient in network usage. The capacity was asymmetrical, but video chat is symmetrical Interestingly enough, AT&T required Apple to greenlight it, which they did. AT&T worked with top developers to teach network etiquette.