Here’s the market by me. This is something that doesn’t exist yet on the web and that’s why we’re launching StreetLib.com

Market Stall
(photo credits Burrard-Lucas Photography)

Save lots of money in courses and 3.0 conferences. Just go ahead and read this piece, which I wrote in July 2002 (some thirteen years ago), explaining the market by me. Here you’ll find out why I do what I’ve always done. And why Simplicissimus Book Farm I created the first Itinerant Ecommerce platform: StreetLib.com (visit it. At the moment nothing works but you can leave your email address to get updates, it will start working very soon). Ok, so here’s my idea of ecommerce (minor edit version), and market:

Where I live, here in Loreto, the itinerant greengrocer’s has been coming every Friday, on farmers market’s day. For a lifetime.
He doesn’t do any preventive mailing to boost demand. He doesn’t target his market based on psycho-socio-demographic criteria. He doesn’t approach me as Dear Customer, or Dear friend.
Of course, he’s careful not to do TV commercials or cover up the entire city with ads. Or, heaven forbid, post them on special boards put up in front of the most beautiful buildings of my city. And he doesn’t text me by surprise. Nor does he try to loyalize me.
He’s not selling me a lifestyle with his onions.
If the apples I bought last week were not as tasty as usual (or simply if I think they weren’t as tasty as usual) he gives me my money back, or some fruit in return.
But if he realizes I’m just a jerk that’s trying to take advantage, he doesn’t say I’m right just because I’m a customer. No. He tells me to fuck off instead, so that everyone can hear, and that I’d better never show my face there again.

My greengrocer’s doesn’t have me answer to some stupid surveys.
He doesn’t do market research: his life is research on and with the market.
He has no mission. He doesn’t give a damn about strategic positioning.

He doesn’t have any privacy policy: he’s been selling me onions for ages and never once has he asked me what I do for a living. He’s never asked how old I am. He’s never asked what’s my educational background. He’s never asked if I’m married. He’s never asked if I have any children. He’s never asked how much money I fucking make. He’s never asked what car I drive. He’s never asked whether I travel or not. He’s never asked for the authorization to use my personal data under the provisions of the PrivacyAct. But, Goddamn! He does know that if he forgets to put aside for me those eggplants he only has twice a year I get pissed off like a sleepless bear and never show up again for at least three months.

I don’t like marketing. Quite the opposite, really: I hate marketing. But then you all hate it too, don’t you? When you’re not at work and have to pretend that it’s interesting and that you like it, lying even to yourselves.
I prefer the merchant who has a passion for something he goes look for, something he buys and then brings back to the square telling everyone all the wonderful things about his discovery.

Marketing embodies the intrinsically invasive nature of mass society: mass production, mass media, mass consumption.
And just like any invasive reality, it is basically violent.
Language is always a good detector. I don’t like the language of marketing.

I like direct and genuine language instead, one that speaks to the heart of things.
I like the word ‘seller‘, I like the word ‘buyer‘, I like the word ‘dealer‘, I like the word ‘customer‘, I like the word ‘shop‘, I like the word ‘shopkeeper‘, I like the word ‘stall‘, I like the word ‘stallholder‘, I like the word ‘market‘, I like the word ‘money‘, I like the word ‘discount‘ when I’m buying, not when I’m selling.
I like the word ‘price‘, I like the word ‘Thank you!‘.

My itinerant greengrocer’s doesn’t even have a clue as to what competition is. His neighbor stallholders who sell the same things as him, are his best friends.

What a weird market, isn’t it?

Enjoy StreetLib. We’ll start using it to sell ebooks and put them on sale, for those who want to. But this is an itinerant ecommerce platform. If you wan to use it to sell or put on sale other products, just give a whistle.

[PS I had promised Simplicissimus development dream-team, led by StreetLib project leader Michele, we wouldn’t have publicly launched StreetLib before April 1st. Well It was an April’s fool prank, of course, folks 😀]

This post is also available in: Italian

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