Thursday, April 30, 2020

Microstory 1354: Division (Part 1)

Magnate Representative: Thank you all for coming in. We have some exciting things lined up for the next few years, and we wanted to get an idea of how some of our customers feel about what we’ve done so far. A little disclaimer, we chose you lot randomly. You have not necessarily spent more money on us than others. My department, in fact, does not have access to your purchase history. All we know is that you have bought at least one Magnate product or service. We also do not have access to customer complaints, or other routes for feedback. This is an entirely separate department. If you have voiced a concern about us in the past, however, and do not feel that the issue was resolved, please feel free to repeat it here. Does everyone understand?
Magnate Customers: [in unison] Yes.
Magnate Representative: Okay, to start us off, is everyone here aware that we sell products and services in the ten categories listed on this chart?
Magnate Customer 1: What exactly does Smart Solutions mean?
Magnate Representative: That is something we are going to talk about today. We’ve been picking up on some confusion regarding what that means, and would appreciate your input. Smart Solutions is our newest and broadest division. It encompasses everything from the materianet to renewable energy, to 3-D printing, to internet based cities.
Magnate Customer 2: Materianet?
Magnate Representative: It’s also known as the tangiblenet. We’re talkin’ non-screen internet-connected devices, like a refrigerator that tells you what you’ve run out of when you’re at the store, or even just a streaming security camera. Up until 2017, all divisions in this company have involved us getting into preexisting markets. We didn’t invent furniture, or toys, or cars. Smart Solutions is all about the future. Much of what that division does is determining what that future looks like, because right now, no one really knows.
Magnate Customer 3: Hm. Since it is so broad, maybe that is the best term for it, even if it causes a little confusion.
Magnate Customer 4: Maybe you could focus on marketing each department, since people already know what 3-D printing is, and all those other things. You can still use a term for the whole division, but that doesn’t have to be very client-facing.
Magnate Representative: Okay, okay. These are actually really good ideas. We’ve always advertised from the division down, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Let me take this note here.
Magnate Customer 5: Does the toy division include adult toys?
Magnate Representative: I’m sorry?
Magnate Customer 5: The toy division? Is it just for kids?
Magnate Representative: is, sir. We do not have an adult toy department. All our products are very family-friendly.
Magnate Customer 5: Well, I bought an axe from you guys last month. Would you call that family-friendly?
Magnate Representative: I suppose not. There’s a safety issue when it comes to some of our products, like tools and vehicles. The problem with adult toys is we wouldn’t be able to keep kids from even seeing that they exist, and they’re just not part of our business strategy.
Magnate Customer 3: Speaking of which, what’s this I hear about the toy division being shut down?
Magnate Representative: I have heard those rumors too. That comes from an unfortunately leaked email from a year ago that discusses our long-term plans. With the increasing demand for virtual entertainment, physical toys may not have a place in the future. Nothing has been decided, and won’t be for at least another five years; probably longer.
Magnate Customer 3: Well, my kid is still gonna be a kid in five years.
Magnate Representative: Again, we don’t know what we’re going to do. We’re just going to listen to the market, and give our customers what they want. If enough people are like you, we will continue to provide them with fun, wholesome entertainment, like our line of dress-up kits.
Magnate Customer 5: I thought your whole thing was knowing what the future holds. You called it Smart Solutions.
Magnate Representative: That’s true, I said that, but no amount of predicting can be a hundred percent accurate. We still have to be able to adapt to unforeseen changes. But what I’m hearing is that you want us to be a little more confident in our decisions. Is that a fair assessment?
Magnate Customer 5: I don’t really know what that means, but I guess.
Magnate Representative: Okay, we can work on that. Let’s circle back to Smart Solutions later. I would like to ask you a few questions about your feelings on musical instruments. It is our least profitable division, but as you may know, it carries sentimental value to Mr. Burke, because of his grandfather. What are your thoughts on that?

[To be continued...]

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