A personal taste of Nelson de Gouveia

Spaghetti bolognaise - The truth about business success with only one dish

in Life by

Once in a while to assess business success, the acumen side of my culture (Portuguese, that is) rages like a solar flare due to some discrepancy in the force, and I'm willing to bet that it harbours no one any mind, but it's my anger and I can rage if I want to.

I arrived at work Monday and found our in-house deli came up with the following gold mine:

- Main meal: Bolognaise Sauce - R33
- Side: Spaghetti - R5

That's right. I can order bolognaise sauce a paltry R33.

But, if I wish to make a spaghetti bolognaise meal, I would have to fork out an extra R5.

And let me tell you how I felt...

I read it and I wanted to take the small board with the page that had this farcical excuse for a business ploy printed on it, grab the deli lady (who didn't print it and didn't decide on what the menu would look like), shake her and yell, "What the hell is this?!!!"

Meanwhile, what was I doing? Why am I angry about this? Why do I need to worry about why they're selling bolognaise as a main and spaghetti as a side? Maybe they've heard some feedback from their clients:

- I like the meat for my home-made vetkoek but I do not want the carborhydrates in my spaghetti.
- I'm vegetarian, so I'll bring in some Arumat and rosemary, and add them to some spaghetti.
- I think Nelson needs a reason to write a blogpost.

And it's true, but something still smells wrong for me, and I think it's actually me. My fury stems from discovering that consistency is the safer option, and experimentation lies with the rich and the adventurous. "Save your money, don't play with dangerous people, don't do drugs, blah blah blah."

Consistency; the key to nothing ever changing.

Yet it kills me that spaghetti sells like chips; and then, this morning, my cheap rip-off iPhone cable wouldn't work. "This accessory has not been certified, so it may not likely work." This means, my phone device has detected that the piece of equipment I've used to charge phone has discovered that I didn't spend R400. Instead, it knows I most likely spent R40, and is making sure that I HAVE to spend R400 on THEIR charger.

And then the realisation hit me like a wet sponge...my deli is Apple.

They're using the same tactics the technology giant uses to get people to spend money, with a simple case of supplying the demand to the supply. "Yes, you want the spaghetti bolognaise, but to have it, you'll need to buy the bolognaise for lots of money.

And if you want spaghetti, the core function of the spaghetti bolognaise, aka the SPAGHETTI, it'll be yours for R5 extra."

And this is Apple's tactic: "Yes, you can have a wonderful phone that does so many things and unlocks wonderful opportunities for you. And, we'll charge you lots of money for it too. But if you want to keep using it, you'll have to buy OUR charger and it'll be yours for R5 extra."

Kind of reminds me about my previous relationships. "Yes, we can spend time together. I'll be that wonderful girlfriend you always wanted. And to do so, you'll have to pay for the fuel, the travel and the hotel rooms.

"But if you want sex, it'll be R5 extra."

He procrastinates like crazy, has little friends and a blog with no traffic. All in all, he's doing well if he's at least breathing.

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