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 Taking the Internet to Lands Uncharted

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Nov 14, 2001
In the days of the dot.bomb, many think that the days of internet innovation are long past.

Yet there remains an industry that simply cries out to be tapped by a creative, ambitious individual such as myself. An industry to which cutting-edge technology and strong crypto really is vital, rather than being a propaganda device of open source "haX0rs." The most revolutionary and profitable internet business plan in the history of the universe.


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Dell has been enormously successful with the "Dell Direct" model--reducing costs by cutting out the middlemen. I propose to take this revolutionary business model to a virgin market--one where it is likely to be an even bigger success.

Buying illegal drugs is a tremendous hassle for millions of Americans. Consumers must fork over huge wads of cash and jump through countless hoops at risk of arrest--all to access an unreliable, potentially unsafe supply cocaine, heroin, or even just pot.

What if it were possible for users to get their desired narcotics safely and securely? What if there were a way to ensure the quality of product? What if there were a way to drastically reduce costs of selling narcotics while still retaining healthy profit margins?

The solution is simple, elegant, and obvious. With hosting in Sealand and a base of operations in international waters, an internet startup could efficiently route distribution from Columbia to your home as online orders flood in--privacy ensured with the strongest crypto available. The challenges to this approach are twofold: marketing and distribution. Yet in reality, these issues are not as significant as they seem.

Marketing could be simply managed. Drug dealers are typically shady characters and of necessity rely on word of mouth to promote their business. With a public website and corporate credibility, we would possess a huge advantage in the marketplace. And after establishing ourselves, no mere startup would be likely to steal market share from us, trust being a huge issue for consumers of narcotics. If can stay in business charging a premium for trust, so could we.

As for distribution, the nation is veined with extensive, effective distribution networks--from street corners to middle schools. By making contracts with the gangs and dealers directly, and paying them a fixed salary, we can establish a uniform cost for narcotics. In return, all we will have to do is ensure the dealers receive their product straight from Columbia--or perhaps, eventually, from our own labs.

Clearly, this business model could reap profits in the hundereds of billions and would be very attractive to even the most jaded venture capitalist. A Harvard MBA being a necessity for soliciting venture capital funding in this day and age, I am pondering applying to business school. The other (and preferable) option would be to find a similarly ambitious and slightly less intelligent Harvard Business School graduate to handle the business side, while I take the role of the free-wheeling "idea man."

That issue aside, the first step is obviously to reserve an appropriate domain name. Thoughts?


domain name (none / 0) (#1)
by hauntedattics on Wed Nov 14th, 2001 at 03:16:17 PM PST
How about Setting aside any moral/ethical/religious issues for the moment (I'm sure that those with much better credentials can address those at some later point), the problem with your business plan is that it does not take into account the kind of maneuvers your competition is likely to engage in once it gets word of your plan. The narcotics networks currently in place don't tend to be too lenient with competitors. Just make sure you have your bodyguards check every office you enter and never sit with your back to the door.

And of course you realize that if drugs were legalized, your biggest competition wouldn't be the Cali and Medellin cartels, but Merck, Pfizer and Glaxo.

That said, however, with this kind of bold and innovative thinking, I think you should go to business school. Unfortunately you may not find everyone at HBS to be a visionary of your caliber.

You fail to grasp the essence of the model (none / 0) (#2)
by moriveth on Wed Nov 14th, 2001 at 03:36:29 PM PST
Thankfully, the internet economy isn't a zero-sum game. We won't have competitors in the traditional, "old economy" sense. We will merely serve as a more efficient, enabling conduit; it will be a win-win-win-win situation for the cartels, dealers, consumers, and us.

Why would the cartels care who buys their product, as long as we pay them the same price? Indeed, we can afford to pay more while reaping larger profits, because we "cut the middlemen." Yes, we might initially encounter opposition from a few dealers (who would thankfully be thousands of kilometers away from our offshore headquarters), but acting in their own rational self-interest, they will soon come to see the advantages of a holding a steady, respectable, resume-building job in the IT industry as opposed to a risky, dead-end gig.

I must agree, though, that the greatest danger our corporation would face is legalization. Which is why, after we become entrenched in the marketplace, a substantial portion of our profits will be invested in anonymous donations to anti-drug PACs and the like.


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