Throwing Around $100 Bills - 2
* Nuclear. France has 56 nuclear power plants that generate 76 percent of the country’s energy needs. It is clean, silent and for France, dependence on Middle East oil is virtually nil.
A Fascinating Business Model
At age 72, I am not about to start any new businesses. However, I keep seeing opportunities that make me almost wish I were 30 years younger.
For example, while curling meetings were taking place, I joined three of the wives for a shopping trip to the town famed for a passion play every 10 years, Oberammagau, roughly an hour from Füssen. This is a center for marketing hand-carved wooden nativity scenes created by sculptors and artisans from town and the surrounding communities and mountains.
A number of the little shops were chock-a-block full of carved stables and dozens of figures—the Holy Family, Magi, angels, shepherds, sheep, camels, myriad onlookers—all beautifully detailed and many hand painted.
These sets come in all sizes and sell for hundreds of euros. The owner of one shop offered to record the set you buy, the size of the pieces and the name of the sculptor. With your purchase, you receive a catalog of all the matching figurines. Thus you can start a collection with the modest purchase of the Holy Family—Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus in a rough crib—and order additional figures that match your set over time.
Coming out of the book club business, I was intrigued by this business model and tried to imagine creating a continuity offer by direct mail. Example: Take Joseph free, pay for the Madonna and Child and receive two figures a month on a “til forbid” basis (continue to send figures unTIL you FORBID us to ship any more). Midway through the shipments, you will receive the stable as a free gift.