Friday, February 07, 2014

Collapse of top mousetrap manufacturer. A fable for the wine industry

Build a better mousetrap, even if you do it in the woods, and the world will beat a path to your door.
Misquotation from Ralph Waldo Emerson (see below for the correct version)

This week brought the sad news of the closure of BMC - the Better Mousetrap Corporation - almost exactly 80 years since it was founded by Mr R.O. Dentkiller, a close friend of Walt Disney who was a fellow member of the Hermosa Rat, Mouse & Ferret Fancier's Club. His 93-year-old son, Randy Dentkiller believes that the failure of the company was entirely attributable to its In-The-Woods location. "We make some of the best mousetraps in the world. Hell, we've a shelf full of trophies from the International Mousetrap Challenge. And we've had Great Value awards too. But we're just in the wrong place."

Mr Dentkiller pauses before ruefully continuing "When my pappy started out, In-The-Woods was a great place to be. There were lots of firms like ours and lots of path beaters. Today, there's loads of firms making much worse mousetraps than us, sellin' them by the cartload  in their own stores on main streets and factory outlets throughout the country. And there's some that are sellin' through the supermarkets, and a whole lot more that are focusin' on the interweb. Mr Disney believed in all that marketin' stuff, but my pappy couldn't be doin' with any of it. We always wanted to just focus on makin' darnn good mousetraps... Seems to me that maybe path-beating just ain't as fashionable as it used to be" 

Ironically perhaps, Mr Dentkiller's grandson, creator of the highly successful Ratinator computer game, is maintaining the family tradition but with more of a Disney approach

The correct version of the Emerson quote: If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.

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