moderated Re: Paid vs free policy- request


I’ve continued following this thread just amazed at the sheer volume of comments.  I’ll add one more thought since the puppy pics haven’t appeared yet and. somewhat surprisingly, I think it still incremental!


I wonder if some or many here aren’t conflating an unasked business strategy question with a philosophical opinion since it does seem that everyone on the thread does understand that the waiver of the premium is both entirely legal and the business owner’s right?


Some of the comments opine about what might be better or worse for Mark if his goal is to build a “successful” business.  In the real world, there are consultants who do that for a living but none who are credible and trained would recommend doubling down or pulling back without more data and information about Mark’s goals, his target market(s), his current or desired growth strategy, his financials and a whole lot more.  Most of all, I don’t think Mark asked for that kind of advice anyway.


The philosophical bucket includes comments talking about the commenter’s sense of propriety (or lack thereof) or "preference" concerning the discount, along with other comments mentioning what might make things “harder for groups,” a highly subjective notion. Also an interesting (at least to me) implied definition of “discrimination.”  That last one prompted some pause for me since cops get free coffee, vets and other groups get favorable treatment by businesses all the time.  I’ve always thought of “discrimination” as words or actions that involve something more about oppression or persecution of a group based on some uncontrollable characteristic or belief. In the same way that a discount at the coffee shop for teachers isn't so much oppressing the non-teachers who buy their lattes at the same shop, I think it may be a stretch to claim that an upgrade-fee waiver oppresses others (including me) who pay full price for premium.


With my own comment a few days ago, I didn’t opine on the strategy piece since that hadn’t been asked.  And, on the philosophical side, I’ll cite two well-known companies just to underscore a point I and others have made here. That point being that numerous companies (B2C and B2B) take stands of all kinds, and in a myriad of ways, all the time.  It’s first Amendment stuff and I think we’re very lucky to live in a country where individuals and organizations are allowed to do that.


Penzeys Spice Company in Wisconsin.  Politics aside, fabulous herbs and spices.  Any cook/chef will agree high quality and knowledgable staff.   A business with a long track record and, by all account doing well financially.  Their CEO is an unabashed Democrat how puts out statements  and takes position all the time consistent with the US Democratic party.  No doubt some conservatives avoid the company like the plague, as is their right. Meanwhile, Penzeys has prospered for a long time.

Chick-fil-A, headquartered in Georgia.  More than 2200 locations and maybe the best quick-serve chicken sammies in America.  Also a very established and successful company. But, their CEO is a well-known conservative who has made a good number of statements and taken positions wholly consistent with US Republican political thinking.  As with the Penzeys example, zero doubt some on the left boycott this business due to the politics.  Also clear the business is doing very well.

Both of those businesses (and a great many more) are very political AND successful.  And, because we have the 1st Amendment, they are both on terra-very-firma to run their businesses as they like, make political statements and risk the alienation of some while engaging a great many others.  This is just how America works.

Mark and could or should do a million things but, at the end of the day, there’s a ton of precedent for what Mark is doing and what he might decide to do along the same line in the future and most any other communications decision.  And, as we all acknowledge, I think without exception, Mark has the right to do as he likes as do we to embrace, ignore or be offended by what he might write or say.  

Join to automatically receive all group messages.