Surround Your Customers and Clients
Tannen was a lovely, gentle man, short, with curly hair, a mustache and thick eyeglasses. The love of his life was flying his little plane, a hobby he was forced to abandon when he was diagnosed with an obscure, though not life-threatening, illness.
Over lunch I asked Chuck if Folio was profitable. He waggled his hand, meaning "comme ci, comme ça," or so-so.
"We have 10,000 subscribers, which gives us subscription and advertising income," he said. "We also publish books, have a card deck, seminars, do consulting and make money on list rentals. And, of course, we have the Folio show, which brings in a lot of revenue. If someone pays us for any of these products or services, it's our license to sell that person everything else we have."
Tannen added, "It is our intention to surround the industry."
Bill Bonner: Creating an Industry and Surrounding It
Sending out an offer for a non-existent product is called a dry test. It's cheaper to test market a product to see if it has legs before going to all the expense of creating the product. Bonner's letter was (and is) a masterpiece. It began:
You look out your window, past your gardener, who is busily pruning the lemon, cherry, and fig trees ... amidst the splendor of gardenias, hibiscus and hollyhocks.
The sky is clear blue. The sea is a deeper blue, sparkling with sunlight.
A gentle breeze comes drifting in from the ocean, clean and refreshing, as your maid brings you breakfast in bed.
For a moment, you think you have died and gone to heaven.
But this paradise is real. And affordable. In fact, it costs only half as much to live this dream lifestyle ... as it would to stay in your own home!