Friday, June 8, 2012

Catching Flies

When I was a around 9 years old, I read a book.  (I read lots of books actually.)  But there was one book in particular that I read that made an impression that keeps coming back to me.  I don't remember the title. I wish I did.  (If anyone reading does know, please tell me.)

The book was a about a young man in love with flying.  But the part of the book that keeps coming back is when a flying circus of WWI biplane pilots stops in his rural town to put on a show.  They enlist this boy in helping with the ground work, and advertise the show for free.

Free and Open to the public.  And of course people come to the field and watch.  It is free after all.  Half way through the show the planes land, and they offer people rides.  The rides are not free, and cost like a dollar a person.

A line formes as people line up to pay for the novel experience of riding in a biplane.

The young man in this story asks the fellow running the show why they don't just charge people for rides, but also for the show.  The man points up into the air as the planes are flying around and explains.  "It wouldn't take long for even dirt farmers to realize that they could see our air show just as well from their pastures and roof tops as they can from here.  And then they wouldn't be here for us to sell rides to."

I think about this story and the lesson being taught here all of the time.  Whenever I hear about online piracy, and movies and copyrights.  I think about this lesson.

When I hear about people wanting to tax internet usage.  I think about this lesson.

When I hear about new DVR technology to skip commercials.  I think about this lesson.

Its possible, that if you grew up in today's world you won't get it.  But people use to understand that if you want to sell something.  You need to get them to listen to the offer.  All the taxes and lawsuits in the world won't convince anyone to listen to an offer.

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