Home Page

Today's News

Ground ZERO
Latest Rumor
Rumor Archive



mesg. board 

2015 KickAss Gear



More Microsoft Mayhem, "Frankly, it's the beans!"  by Dr John
  Dan VanCamp over at BetaOS.com wrote a nice article on the Microsoft trial.  He used an analogy with a company that sells beans, to make his point.  I thought he left out a few important points, so I decided to fill in the missing details.  

                             Dr. John
Mr. Beans: "Lets say that ACME Bean company one day discovered the main ingredients to one of its competitors baked beans, its competitor was planning to launch the new recipe to its customers shortly and it was sure to be a success. ACME wanting to beat its competitor to the punch used the recipe and added some of their own flavors to it to make it even better.  They then launched the recipe a month before their competitor, and sure enough it was a huge hit! Everyone loved ACME beans, so much so that over the next year most of the consumers had switched to ACME Beans or had at least tried them and contemplated changing. "

Dr. John:  Behind the scenes, ACME was spreading rumors that the
competition's beans were tainted with bacteria, and you might get sick if you eat them.  They also put warning labels on their cans that clearly stated that if you mixed ACME beans with franks from the competition, that you also might get sick.  Of course, this was nonsense, but it worked. Fearing illness, most people switched solely to ACME products, not because they were better, but because customers thought they were safer.

Mr. Beans: "ACME decided that they would begin to produce their own franks and sell them separately so that consumers could add their franks to ACME beans. This worked out great and over time people even began to prefer their franks even when they liked a different brand of beans, because of this ACME decided to start putting their franks in their bean recipe before they were ever shipped to the grocers."

Dr. John: No company could actually do this, because real franks cost more than beans, and could not be bundled with beans for free.  Indeed, a strong argument could be made here that ACME was willing to loose money temporarily for the sole purpose of driving the competition out of business, (both beans and franks makers are affected now, as ACME tries to expand their influence). Eventually, ACME could charge whatever they wanted for
franks and beans.

Mr. Beans: "A class action law suit was filed against ACME by their major competitors, saying that they were manipulating the market by offering their franks in the beans, and squelching anyone who tried to compete with their product. While by design ACME was trying to keep up with consumer demand, they at the same time had alienated the other manufacturers in to a position where they felt compromised."

Dr. John: In fact, the competition was filing suit against ACME because they had unfairly used their near-monopoly of the bean industry to hurt the competition, and had bundled beans and franks and sold them for the price of beans in a way that the smaller companies could not afford to do.   If foreign companies had done this to US companies, it would be called dumping, and it would have been stopped with tariffs faster than you can say "franks and beans".

   Further, ACME, once it had become the worlds major supplier of baked beans, threatened TV dinner makers with bean shortages, or higher priced beans, in order to force them to use ACME products exclusively for their beans and franks dinners.


copyright 1999 KickAss Gear