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A cave in Morocco: while the climate is still temperate, the nascent ice-age is gathering strength in the north, and cold winds sometimes sweep down, reaching inland from the rim of what is now the Mediterranean.
How to keep warm ? Our intrepid team has a night-time meeting to discuss the opportunity, assess the cost/benefits ...
~ dramatis personae
Head of Marketing (HOM)
inventor pitching his technology (ELON)
HOM: the last quarter's results for shell-beads and ochre for body decoration are ... flat.
CEO: we're never going to grow ... like this !
CFO: well, i've got a guy here with an idea I think we should evaluate
CEO: bring him in ...
[Elon enters the chamber: sounds of gasping for breath]
HOM: what the saber-toothed-tiger is that covering his man-parts ?
[the CEO lights another torch]
CEO: is this a joke ? you bring in someone who's not the way the gods made him ?
ELON: this ... thing ... covering me ... is the skin of what you call a bear.
HOM: wow ! that's a big relief ! [laughter]
ELON: i see a room of cold people: look at yourselves; you're all shivering ! i, on the other hand, am not shivering ... his [points to HOM] teeth are chattering.
CFO: he's got a point ... and ... this surprises me ... his bear thing doesn't ... stink !
HOM: can we trust a man whose man-parts we can't smell ? ...
CFO: that's an old-wives' tale ...
CEO: we don't have a lot of bears ... scaling production up ... how'd that work ?
HOM: how long did it take to make that ... thing ?
ELON: 5 days to remove the skin; a lunar cycle to process it, cut it to shape ...
HOM: ... and he's not going to tell us how he processed it !
ELON: ... right ... but, what if i told you a group of ten people using my methods could make a hundred of these per lunar cycle ?
CEO: where do the bears come from ? those are rare, here !
ELON: you got a lot of jackals, and panthers, rabbits, and other animals, you could use; and, using my methods ... you can make bigger pieces out of small pieces ...
CEO: ... this guy really does think outside the box !
HOM ... intriguing ... go on ...
ELON: you take ten of your best hunters: they bring back the animals to the cave; the processing team does nothing but make the things-go-on-the-body ...
HOM: that could be a big start-up cost !
ELON: ... wait ... here's the thing ... once production gets going, and demand increases, you have the general population paying for the finished goods with furry animals they killed. so ... you can lay-off the hunters. ... maybe start a school-program to teach the younger generation how to be better hunters ...
CEO: the hunter's guild is not going to like that ! ... and, those guys are dangerous !
ELON: so, you make them the professors at the schools, and give them extra wives, and first-pick-of-communal-hunting kills ...
HOM: not bad ! but, we are dancing around the issue of "demand" ... what about not being cold makes somebody want to give up something valuable to get it ?
CEO: doesn't our experience with promoting shell-beads give us some ideas ?
HOM: yeah ... the magic protection angle ... you gotta have one because your neighbor is safer than you are ... the Great Mother will give his wife more babies ...
CFO: we can hire shamans to promote that ... just like we did with ochre face-paint ...
CEO: well, all this is intoxicating, but, we still have nothing but one non-stinky bear-skin over one stranger's man-parts, and a good sales pitch to go on ...
ELON: [takes off a bag hanging across his shoulder, opens it, starts handing out some objects] i'm passing around some of the things i've made that will enable the productivity i mentioned; please be careful not to cut yourself handling them ...
HOM: look at the edge on this ! how did you get it that sharp ?
ELON: with these tools, i guarantee a hundred big cover-things each lunar cycle, given animal supply, and 10 people who are capable of sun-up-to-sun-down work.
CEO: and we get these tools ... ? how ?
ELON: ... from me, and i retain exclusive rights to make these tools, under the NDA's we'll sign in blood. payment per tool, or for refurbishing tools, with the usual ... wives, slaves, rocks that glitter, food, etc.
CEO: another elephant in the cave here is the fact that people think ... as the old saying goes: "nakedness is next to godliness," and ... huddling together at night with your whole family to keep warm ... is ... well, part of what being family ... is.
HOM: we could work on that: "the family with cover-things sleeps better;" or, even: "nakedness is passé."
ELON: the shamans in the north, beyond the sea, i have been in contact with all say: "winter is coming."
CFO: what about ... a pilot program ? you get five workers, and enough animals to make say 50 cover-things every lunar cycle ?
ELON: look ... i understand your motivation for wanting to start small ... but ... my methods require ten specialized operations using various combinations of my tools: the way to make that work is for each worker to be so trained on one skill they do it fast as a rabbit running from an eagle's shadow ...
HOM: what if we send this year's crop of beauty pageant finalists to make their annual tour wearing these ... things ... every woman is going to demand their spouse prove their manhood by buying them one of these ... and, think of the product niches ... at the uber high-end you get bear; high mid-range leopard ... and so forth !
CFO: well ... that's marketing !
CEO: that's a good place to stop. ELON, thank you for an excellent presentation, which we'll discuss after we sacrifice a slave to the gods, and have the shaman read the entrails. meanwhile, i'll ask HOM to extend his famous hospitality to you for the next few days, including your choice of his wives, and our famous vision-inducing tea.
ELON: i appreciate your hearing me out, and may the Great Mother protect us all.
«The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled» Plutarch
modified 18-Sep-21 10:37am.