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Fri 27 Jun 2003
A Buying Coalition
Category : Commentary/coalition.txt
While waiting for the Oracle 9i Developer Release for Mac OS X Jaguar to download (slowly...) from the Oracle OTN site, I'm thinking of a couple of things we could do, if we could ever grow this "Mac-using community as The Ultimate Business Machine" idea.
One is to make it evolve into a buying coalition. Let me explain. While at the last Mac meet-up, it struck me that these are people who're quite happy to buy up the latest gadgets, from the variety of digital cameras, Bluetooth adaptor, handphones, etc., that turn up on the table. I believe that each individual would have found ways to make these purchases pay. But the point is that we're in the midst of rather savvy users who are willing to snap up the latest gadgets.
Now what if we could pool our purchases? Like, let's say, make an announcement that we're looking for people who're thinking of buying the 12-inch Powerbook. Then pool all these and form a coalition and take bids from the hardware vendors. This may make the low price they're bound to submit worthwhile because the vendor will be happy to get the bulk sale. If there's a way to use technology to systematise this (and I'm sure there's one), we would have transformed a loosely knit collection of individuals into one whose negotiating power is equal to that of a major corporation. Think of the hundreds of postings at the MUGS board. They've got lots of users on their board. I'm wondering why they hadn't moved on to this? (Or if they did, are there problems with this idea that I hadn't thought of?) So far, it's just an idea.
OK, another idea (the Oracle download has reached the half-way mark). I'm thinking of a training co-op. I've noticed, again from the last meet-up, that there are quite a few people who could really teach - e.g., how to use the Mac really well (e.g., Yezdi who, by Hai Hwee's account, not only teaches you the steps but also tries to explain the reasons behind the steps). Now, what if we could create a set-up such that you could get such people to train other Mac users and make it really worth both their time. We could set up the systems and infrastructure such that the trainers could just turn up (for a day, or a morning, even if they have a full-time job) and the system will take care of everything else (providing manuals, handling course booking, fee collection, etc...) and they just concentrate on teaching, and then get paid.
These are just ideas. But how do you make them come alive? That's where you need the magic. I'd be really happy to receive feedback.
Put your Mac to Work