From: "Face value: Salesman of the irrational | The Economist."
Lessons from Jean-Claude Biver, Hublot watches:
1. Make your own stuff. Sell it if you must, but dole it out with due process to people you love and respect. Be master of your cheese, til the last piece is gone.
"His cheese can send the authors of Michelin guidebooks into rapture; Switzerland’s best chefs regularly call him begging for some. But he parcels it out only to family and friends, and to restaurants that he particularly likes. And he always refuses payment for the stuff. “If I don’t sell it,” explains Mr Biver, “then I will decide who gets it and who doesn’t. I will be the master of my cheese until the last piece.”"
2. A little bit of rationality helps sell irrationality.
" “You only desire what you cannot get,” he says. “People want exclusivity, so you must always keep the customer hungry and frustrated.”"
Not sure I agree on the need for hungry and frustrated customers...the Posterous crew does an amazing job of keeping me full and unfrustrated, and I respect them (and the tech/design that enables my Posterous experience) the more for it.
However, I did also hear recently advice to always have something go wrong at a conference (lose the wifi, turn down the heat, etc) so that organizers have control over what people are complaining about.
Personally, I'll go with the glass half full view and trust users over manipulating them every time.
But being master of your own product - and knowing when and why you sell it versus give it away - is a good gut check question to ask yourself in the mirror every morning.