Random musings, observations, squeaks, whimpers and perhaps the ocassional rant. About what, I'm not sure.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

'tis the Season... for a ripoff?

Seems 'tis the season for ripping off the Lance Armstrong Foundation and folks living with/surviving Cancer.

Lance Armstrong Foundation Logo

You know those yellow LiveStrong bracelets you see everywhere these days? Well, some "enterprising" soul is producing a dead-knock off and selling it for other purposes. Bet exactly zero of the proceeds go to the Foundation. Glad Lance Armstrong and Nike spent the time and effort to develop a simple, powerful, compelling and easily executed idea - that someone else could co-opt for another purpose.

I'm as into capitalism as the next person, and chuckled when I'd heard a month or so ago that a secondary market had developed for the bracelets, which are selling like free money partly because they're cool, partly because the idea is cool, and partly because demand far outstripping supply is really cool. Don't want to order and wait the perpetual 3 or 4 or more week backorder period - hop on over to eBay and buy one for up to $20 US. In this case, I just figured "supply and demand, baby".

I don't have a problem with someone buying goods and reselling them - if constrained supply and/or high demand create a bubble in which some little entrepreneur can turn a buck as the middleman for a while, I figure "go for it". I wouldn't do it in this case (I have a hundred of these we're giving to customers as promos - we waited the 4 weeks)... but ripping off someone else's product/IP so you can ride their wave? That just sucks. What happened to originality?

See Seth Godin's blog for his original post on the subject and a follow-on with some of his reader's comments - do some of these folks understand just how slimy this is? Guess not... or maybe its just me.


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