Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A free idea for you to make millions from

Entrepreneurship is all about ideas. If you have an idea for a great product or service, capital, talent and profits will flow to you. You will become a multi millionaire. In recognition of all the patience you dear readers have shown, this blogger now offers an idea for free - a product from which you can make millions !

The idea is, well, an old fashioned one. The product I suggest to you is the typewriter !! Before you groan, consider the following facts.

The country (to its eternal credit) which is completely fed up with the antics of the NSA is Germany. Even in the erstwhile East Germany the extent of snooping and surveillance probably did not go this far. When revelation after revelation brings home the extent of NSA spying (even to the extent of tapping the phone of Angela Merkel), the Germans have become angrier and angrier. And businesses, and government, have started to react in the only way possible - ditch the computer !

Back comes the good  old fashioned typewriter. German defence contractor Diehl has switched entirely to typewriters and snail mail for all sensitive documents and correspondence. Many German politicians are deciding to follow suit. Not any typewriter mind you. Only the non electronic variety will do. Complete with carbon paper for copies.  A typewriter with not a semiconductor in sight, thank you. That's the only way to be safe from the spies.

Typewriter sales have gone up by 35% and is expected to go up by 100% in the near future. Now, very few make typewriters anymore. In Germany, only two companies of any stature make them - Bandermann and Olympia. And they are Expensive, complete with a capital E. There may even be a waiting list to buy a typewriter; obviously there is no capacity for 100% growth.

Where Germany leads, the rest of the world will follow. Many Americans would be happy to follow suit. Many politicans of all stripes might dutifully switch - not so much because of the spying, but because they would rather that their antics do not leak out, at least in print. Without a doubt there will be 10 million Chinese, perhaps all of them from the Communist Party, who would also like the safety of something that cannot easily be monitored. And while you may not care for it, the shady characters, right from petty criminals to terrorists, would no doubt love the security from snooping.

So build a factory to make typewriters in some village in India. Make a zillion of them. Export the whole lot. Advertise the world over that your products are the only ones that are NSA proof. Guarantee to customers that they cannot be spied upon except by somebody staring right over the typist. As a corollary business, supply carbon paper and printer ribbon at $1000 per pack (Hewlett Packard, you are getting beaten at your own game). And as a future foray into services,  also supply typists - millions of Rajalakshmis available wherever you want. All you then have to do is to count the cash flowing in.

Underneath the frivolity is a serious point. There will be a backlash against the all pervasive snooping. For some things at least it is better to go back to trusted technology of the old - the typewriter, the comptometer, the pen, the paper, and even, perish the thought,  the face to face meeting !


Sriram Khé said...

The US snooping around, even on allies and their governments, is simply awful. A shame!

But, what continues to puzzle me is this--there isn't really any widespread backlash against the snooping. A mild protest here and there, and that is it. What's the deal???? I worry that we--all over the world--have become way complacent and don't worry about the dangerous path that we are on, and about the "total information awareness" that we have come to accept. That is even more a shame!! :(

Shachi said...

Accepting the snooping is just like anything else - as long as it does not directly affect you, you don't care as much!

Ramesh said...

@Sriram - Absolutely awful. The country that I am absolutely furious with is the UK. Shame on the Brits where even a squeak is not heard. This, 9in a country, where people refuse to carry ID cards on grounds of privacy.

Germany is the only one (and perhaps Argentina), where there is some form of at least mild protest. We truly live in 1984.

@Shachi - Perhaps true. But how come in your country, where you protest against gays discrimination in Uganda, oppression in Tibet, and such like which affect individuals even less, is the NSA getting away with it. Methinks, Osama bin Laden has won and you (and most of us) have made an awful trade off for supposed "security".

Sriram Khé said...

As a business guy, you might get even more charged when you read this ... so, sit down, take a few deep breaths first ... all set?

The former NSA chief, Keith Alexander, retired in March and now earns a million dollars a month consulting ...
how much do you earn consulting, Mr. Business Musings? ;)

"even if Alexander's new technology is legally unique, it is shaped by the nearly nine years he spent running an intelligence colossus. He was the longest-serving director in the history of the NSA and the first commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, responsible for all cybersecurity personnel -- defensive and offensive -- in the military and the Defense Department. From those two perches, Alexander had access to the government's most highly classified intelligence about hackers trying to steal U.S. secrets and disable critical infrastructure, such as the electrical power grid."


I guess a Mr. Putin would love to pay the man top dollars, eh! ;)

Sandhya Sriram said...

We know about NSA Snooping and are getting so upset about it. do we know what China, Russia and even India are snooping on.

i think, snooping is a ingrained culture to the human race. all rulers of the past had trained snoopers in kingdoms of importance for them. obviously much more primitive and technology has just given a radically different scale as it has to every thing else.

Now, as every smart ruler learnt to protect himself from the spies, so will the smart countries in the world. thats my simplistic take on the subject - i know stupid - but definitely not fatalistic.

Deepa said...

Maybe if there were more Julian Assanges, NSA and other snoops would be a joke.

Ramesh said...

@Sriram - Very few have a sense of propriety, character and right and wrong anymore ; alas.

@Sandhya - Of course, everybody spies. But until the advent of technology, only totalitarian states spied on ordinary citizens like this. The NSA/GCHQ spying is worse than even the bad old days of the Soviet Union. They have shown how low character they are - to their eternal shame.

@Deepa - I hope you meant Snowden - in my book Assange is, well, an ass. Snowden is a different matter altogether. A country that cannot protect a whistle blower has lost all moral authority of any kind and is therefore fair game for being reviled and despised.

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