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“Selling stuff is easy. All you gotta do is give away stuff that makes people happy …and then sell ‘em stuff that makes them even happier.” That’s not my quote, but one from internet marketing copywriter, Frank Kern. Is it really as simple as that? Certainly a model for many services and products across the web is, ‘Free now, subscribe later’. We get hooked by the brilliance of the offering (think Spotify for instance), but then are attracted to the ad-free Premium version, or other enhancements not available in the basic offering. Selling is therefore clearly still a huge driver for all businesses, but is it the only driver, or for that matter even the most important driver?

Think about things differently

Sales mean income, and we are all interested in the bottom line. However from the dotcom bubble onwards, a different paradigm has emerged, where even a business which is negatively trading can attract the dream of many startup...

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Digging for diamonds

In the late 1930s a new word entered American English: Dumpster. It was a shortened form of the name of a large trash container called the Dumpmaster, made by the Dempster Brothers manufacturing company in Tennessee. Dumpsters soon became the almost universal way of collecting large amounts of waste, and somewhere along the way the redistribution of that waste became known as ‘Dumpster Diving’. Yes, people would walk past a dumpster and see a perfectly good chair in there, climb in and reclaim it. Or books, or lamps, or anything. Now in cities around the world, dumpster diving is the way many street people get their daily meals.

Also along the way, journalists, private detectives and anyone interested in exposing secrets, learned that dumpster diving was also a prime source of useful collateral. Offices would throw out files of private client information, and the trash of Hollywood stars would be raked through for interesting correspondence to sell to the tabloid...

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