Sun 17 Apr 2005 08:33:50 PM PDT
Fun with numbers
Once upon a time, example.com was the leading maker of trebuchets, but the trebuchet market, though large, was shrinking steadily. Meanwhile, example.com's newly reintroduced CP/M machines weren't selling well either, because software companies had already stopped supporting CP/M when example.com killed the product last time. Example.com has not actually sold any CP/M machines since reintroducing them, and competition is driving down the price of trebuchets, the company's cash cow.
The problem: how to make example.com look good in a press release -- especially, how to hide the fact that no CP/M machines actually sold? The answer: strike a deal with a paper clip factory to start selling paper clips under the example.com brand name, and count each one as a "unit".
Now everything looks hunky-dory, because example.com can say:
- example.com is number one in trebuchet revenue.
- example.com was the only company to gain revenue market share points in trebuchets and in the trebuchets plus CP/M machines plus paper clips market.
- example.com's market share in paper clips plus CP/M machines grew faster than that of all competing paper clip vendors.
- example.com was the only vendor to deliver unit sales growth in the trebuchets plus CP/M machines plus paper clips market.
OK, this is silly, but some people actually get paid to do something like it.