QC codes and the Luddite (non)-Fallacy
I am invested in my own health, so I recently bought an elliptical trainer, a sort of gussied up cross-country-skiing-type machine. Although I went out to research these in person at bricks and mortar stores, I am the kind of person who has no problem then going online and reaping the 40% discount, and so Amazon got a cut of my purchase.
When I went to the local sports store, however, there were a lot of ellipticals with QC codes on the tags which were on them. QCs, which are a sort of gussied up barcode, are readable by a lot of smartphone cameras; on my iPhone, I use an app called RedLaser, which is neither red nor a laser, to read them. There are a lot of QC reading apps; that is just the one I use.
I had some questions about the elliptical but no salesman was in sight and I was fascinated by the sight of a QC code in the wild, so I decided to put off looking for a salesman and pulled out my iPhone and aimed the camera at the QC code. The whole process took about 3 seconds - and much to my surprise, then appeared on my iPhone screen a little salesdude. Physically fit, attractive, well spoken, and no doubt with rose-scented breath, he proceeded to mellifluously explain all the features of the elliptical I was looking at, and gave a video demo of how I could get right on and start using it myself.
The process was repeatable right down the row. 10 minutes later, a salesperson strolled up, but I had already gotten all the information I wanted. For yucks, I asked the guy a few of my questions anyway, and he clearly had no idea of the answers. (Later, I watched another salesman instruct a lady to point her smartphone at the QC code!)
Morals of this story:
1) Hply sjot, there is somewhere right now a company that is marrying smartphone technology, QC codes, and marketing to craft these videos as a service to manufacturers and consumers. I want to buy stock in that. Anyone know if such a company is public? I would buy heck of shares in it immediately and advise any one I liked to do the same.
2) The Luddite fallacy (read more on Wikipedia - links I make don't work, usually) is not really always a fallacy. If you know who alstry is, you already know more about the Luddite fallacy than you want to know. As a general thesis it may leave something to be desired, but in the case of elliptical salespersons: y'all are fired. This is better.
3) Amazon is in this story as a bit player: it takes a cut of the Sole Treadmill Corporation's profits for doing almost nothing. Amazon is in a lot of stories as a bit player like this. The fact that it is in a lot of stories gives it synergies and economies of scale. I am beginning to wonder if it is not undervalued even at its current P/E of 80-100 (depending on the day and how you count.)