The Norman Transcript

Columns

April 16, 2013

There’s a way to break rules the right way

(Continued)

NORMAN —

People often don’t value services that they don’t pay for. No matter how valuable the service really is.

Over 20 years ago, I owned part of firm that did political polling. We were ahead of the technological curve and very accurate. We had a number of paying clients, but had several friends running for office who couldn’t afford us. Often in doing research, we would find something that could help our friends. The friends often ignored us while people actually paying for surveys never did.

We noticed that one of my friends had a problem in a geographic area. We told him, but his paid campaign manager had “a gut feeling” we were wrong. My gut feeling was that the campaign manager was an idiot, but the friend was paying him and not paying me. The advice was ignored; our buddy lost that area by a wide margin and the election by a tiny one.

Anderson hits on why some free products are embraced and others are not.

Two of the best ideas are wellness related. Anderson talked about doctors in China who are paid monthly when you are healthy. If you are sick, you don’t pay. It is the doctor’s job to keep you well.

A similar idea is a gym in Denmark that allows you to attend for free if you show up once a week. If you miss a week, you pay for the entire month. It reminds me of the anti-smoking plan. A combination of penalty and incentive.

The doctors in China and the gym in Denmark are plans to promote physical wellness, but they are also promoting economic wellness. They are developing models that other entrepreneurs will copy.

I’ve written five best-selling books on topics as diverse as lottery winners, Kentucky’s governor, Wall Street and golf. The only common thread is that overwhelming legions of fellow authors hate my marketing strategies.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014