In the days before business models were called business models, giving things away was not considered a sensible business model. Now, however, your average venture capitalist would probably laugh if you proffered him a business plan which incorporated the curious concept of charging somebody for something. The last self-made Billionaire to make his money that way was probably Bill Gates and look what he is doing now, that’s right, giving all his money away.
Yep, all the serious money these days is being made by those dedicated to giving stuff away with the recent honour roll of the philanthropic Billionaires including Google, which you may have come across, Skype which you probably use to talk with your loved ones, Facebook of course (“We’re free and always will be”), Android , which is on more smart phones than Apple’s iOS and Linked-In the social network of choice for all those with a suit in their wardrobe and which was recently IPO-ed for Squillions.
We have charged her with keeping a very close eye on the movers and shakers looking to make a fortune by giving things away in the Big Durian. What follows is her first report.
Something that you may have come across being given away for free in the bars, hotel lobbies, schools and golf clubs of Jakarta is a magazine called Now! Jakarta.
We had a look at the July edition; we couldn’t find August, it may be a Ramadhan thing.
It’s free, yeahhh!!!!
Lovely glossy magazine that would truly not look out-of-place on your coffee table
Consistently good photographic work, they have a man with an eye for composition and who knows the difference between an ISO and his aperture.
Useful directory at the back of people, places and things in Jakarta. Worth the free cover price for that alone.
Buried amongst the adverts and advertorials are some decent Jakarta stories including, this month, coverage of the Highland Games and the lucky man who won a Mercedes APV for a hole in one – using a 3 wood from 125 meters for God’s sake.
They have an iPhone App for it!!
Endless fawning pieces on malls, jewellery stores, condos and Balinese investment villa opportunities dressed up as journalism but which are clearly paid advertising puffs and, in all likelihood, actually written by the advertiser themselves. There is a lack of distinction between where reporting ends and advertising begins that the News of the World couldn’t get away with, if it were still with us.
A strong consensus on funniest AND worse piece; it really had to be the “Fashion and Jewellery” item “Dressed for Success” featuring a couple of hotel managers and a “Senior Partner” at a “Wealth Manager” with their best Armani suits on, flashing their cuffs and telling us their favourite Cologne. Favourite quote? – “I would never leave home without my Greek silver bracelet”. Who was it who said all publicity is GOOD publicity, WRONG!!!. To add to the toxic conflict of interest cocktail, the Wealth Manager’s company had taken out a full-page advertisement in the middle of a “Special Supplement on Finance and Wealth Management”, written of course by the man who flashed his cuffs earlier (and not the one with the Greek bracelet fixation).
They charge $1.99 to download the magazine on to your iPad!! Who on earth is going to pay that for a magazine on their iPad that they can get for free at the hairdressers and put on their coffee table? NottheJakartaPost would love to know how many downloads they had – we would guess about three, including the Editor’s Her Indoors.
So, way to go, should you buy shares in it? Well, erm, it is produced by a private company so you would have to await the IPO; we will bring you more in-depth coverage should it ever happen. We suggest in the interim that you keep your excess funds ready for next week’s floatation of “Not the Jakarta Post LLC” a British Virgin Islands company with a Business Model which charges nothing for everything, even its iPad Edition.
Priced to sell at $1.99 a share at which level it has an infinitely negative P/E ratio. Having just checked the petty cash, we can also share with you that NtJP has Net Assets of 47,655 Roops. Sure fire winner, BUY.