I remember this coffee shop…
Posted: 19 May 2013 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I remember this coffee shop in my hometown.  It was a real cool place to go and commiserate with eclectic people who were generally like-minded.
The owner was very kind and had a great vision for her business.
Unfortunately the coffee shop was within walking distance of a large housing project.(the federally subsidized kind-people with disabilities etc…)
A number of the residents of this housing project would come into the coffee shop and take advantage of a cheap cup of coffee and sit for hours.
They were sometimes “disheveled”, sometimes disruptive to the other guests, etc etc etc…A few had obvious addiction problems and many were lacking in personal hygiene to say the least.
Mostly the guests would smile nervously.  The owner felt in part sympathetic and partly helpless.
Eventually her only customers left were the “disheveled” residents of the housing project.
She only stayed in business for 2 years.  Her business failed.

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Posted: 19 May 2013 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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She could have just charged Starbucks-like prices for her coffee and offered a myriad of coffee flavorings.  The price would have discouraged the economically challenged vs. the other “eclectics”. And the myriad of flavorings might have brought in converts from Starbucks.

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Posted: 19 May 2013 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The one thing any organization requires is a market that can support it.  She had that at first, however, the changing environment caused her market to dry up.  She should have recognized that, polled those customers who were her original market to identify a better alternate location, closed up that place and opened again in the new area.

Occam

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Posted: 19 May 2013 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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TimB - 19 May 2013 12:41 PM

She could have just charged Starbucks-like prices for her coffee and offered a myriad of coffee flavorings.  The price would have discouraged the economically challenged vs. the other “eclectics”. And the myriad of flavorings might have brought in converts from Starbucks.

And if she still wanted to be kind to the other locals (and not move her location), out of her profits, she could have donated free coffee to the local AA groups and other local social support programs.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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