30 November 2009

Well, I Was Wrong About That

Instapundit posted this coffee ad without comment, but I remembered it as soon as I hit play. In the 80s, coffee was worried that it might be permanently replaced by soda and other soft drinks; that Americans were losing their coffee addiction. These series of ads were meant to boost coffee drinking among the young (which, at the time, included me).

Although by 1984 I was drinking coffee by the pot, I didn't think that the industry had a chance to remain anything but an also-ran. Coke uber alles.

The research into entrepreneurship indicates that one of the few traits that really seems to separate entrepreneurs from the rest of us is a representation bias. That is, entrepreneurs think that their own experience, tastes and judgment are more representative of the population at large than is actually the case. So, if they like some new product, everyone else will, too. If that's true, than I'm the anti-entrepreneur. I think the things that I like are doomed to failure.


Harry Eagar said...

I suspect coffee has something of the same appeal as cigarettes: it seems adult. This could be in part because children don't like it; too bitter, I suppose.

I sometimes wonder about what people sell. Could they possibly believe in it? To a considerable extent, they do. I had a query from a seller of schlock art earlier this week. I wouldn't use the stuff to hold furniture out of a flood, but he seems sincerely to think it's wonderful.

OTOH, there's the Omar Khayyam question about the vintners. What is it they buy half so precious as what they sell?

joe shropshire said...

it seems adult

What do you do for a boy who can't sit still in the classroom until recess, back in the dark ages before Ritalin? Half a cup of coffee in the morning before you send him to school. That's what dear blind old Doctor Delucca told my mom, and it worked. Of course he was the same doctor who ran a full bore needle in one side of an infected thumb and out the other, and then squirted a glass syringe full of novocaine on the wall, then fastened a set of hemostats on a festering thumbnail, and then yanked it out in one go. Seven years old and felt every damn bit of that.

Harry Eagar said...

Heroic medicine.

I hadn't heard the coffee for children idea before.