A couple of days ago, got yet-another-email in my inbox announcing deals. As is often the case, they were either uninteresting/of unclear value or felt like a trap with layers of well disguised fine print.
My first reaction was the usual irritation - the kind you have when a smrt-ass-wannabe tries to take you for a ride and you just manage to spot it in time. But, over lunch which I had in a few minutes later, it occurred to me that I might possibly not be alone in this sea of deal-noise. And that like me, folks naturally have a nose for good, genuine deals which actually made sense.
And as I thought more, it became obvious that the whole definition of a "deal" as a "discounted" offer was flawed. I'd just bought great tyres for my dad's car - even at no discount they were awesome deals compared to the other choices. And we humans, we just know these things, don't we ? Especially Indians - VFM is part of our DNA.
Of course, we find deals everywhere. And the really interesting ones are those that are around us - those in the neighbourhood mall, or with our usual grocer, or favourite diner. Offline, online. Sometimes just a friend selling something they don't need anymore.
So created the easiest thing I could - a Facebook page for dealrater. And followed up with a WordPress install with a plugin for voting deals up or down. And then added a Google spreadsheet form so folks could add stuff they found VFM, or a great deal they'd go for themselves.
The site is now up at http://dealrater.in. Its a simple blog with some features now, and will grow if my gut feel of folks being better at this, and interested in cutting down deal-noise is vindicated (them being able to find the site is of course part of the testing so help me please :))
// Pardon the crappy logo - its a 2 minute job to get started. Will get a fancier, designed one later.
All of this took sporadic effort over all of 48 hours. Including some data seeding.
Purely based on a few stray examples,
Is it that for building a really profitable business you usually have to build for common denominators and base desires? Great businesses aren't always immediately wildly profitable. The common denominators are easier to find.
There was a time we caught two movies a week, sometimes. We did not always need to know from the reviews beforehand if the movie was "worth watching" - it was more about deriving pleasure and a good time out of whatever we watched. Sometimes we suspended disbelief, sometimes we needed to carry empathy as we went in, sometimes we gave in to feeling spooked, and sometimes it was intensely and deeply intellectual.
It was not about 0 or 10 - all movies were certainly not reduced to a binary choice.
"We value our time more" - often heard argument in this context. Really? You'd just catch a movie in the time you spend reading the multitude of reviews and analyses of one. And if you value your time, you'll construct it in different entertaining surprising ways - not just in the mould of one dreary totally expected and conformist superlative.
The movie reviews (and of course those darned multiplex prices) have killed it. Bigtime.