Thursday, April 9, 2009

One Expensive Flea Market

To all those out there providing services for high usage websites or companies: please stop trying to rip us off.

With all the insane haggling you have to go through when running website, you'd think you're in a flea market somewhere in the developing world. Here are some contrasting examples:

Buying a Domain Name from a Squatter:
Luis: How much do you want?
Squatter: $50,000
Luis: How about $250?
Final Sale Price: $600

My Aunt's Kidnapping in Guatemala:
Kidnapper: We want X
Final Ransom: X/20

Buying DNS Service:
Unnamed Company's Initial Offer: $X/month
Final Offer: $(X/10)/month

My Mom Buying Fruit in a Town Market:
Seller: Bananas for $1
Mom: I'll give you 10 cents
Seller: That's INSANE!
Mom: How about 12 cents?
Seller: FINE

I'm tempted to hire a fruit seller from a Guatemalan market to become my chief negotiator.


  1. Was your aunt really kidnapped in Guatemala?

  2. I think you should hire your mom as your chief negotiator.

  3. I think hiring a fruit seller is a great idea, but you should combine the compensation negotiation with the job interview. And be prepared to pay for quality.

  4. Hahahahaha Guatemela and India are so similar (except kidnappings).
    I find it strange that americans donot bargain so much.

  5. You haggled your aunts ransom? Thats low even for you Luis.

  6. Little known fact about kidnappings: If you *don't* haggle, they don't release the victim because they think they didn't ask for enough money, so they go for another round.

  7. How much dollars did you pay in ransom? Are you a potential target because they know that you have 500,000$ in cash?

  8. Did you refuse to haggle with the kidnappers until they successfully solved a reCaptcha?

  9. After you finally got the website for $600, how much did you sell it for?

  10. These days in Guatemala pretty much everybody is a potential target even if you don´t have as much as $500,000, the only thing you need is to walk down the street and have a bad day. Extortion and kidnapping have become a common business for gangs (while they are drug dealing, of course).

  11. I would love if Luis gets kidnapped. Maybe he will stop failing student then and as a side effect he will make new techniques to thwart potential kidnappers.

  12. I doubt kidnapping Luis would do anything... In fact all 251 students would get is another scavenger hunt to "save" Luis once again... (after they make you go through all the 251 questions, they will ask for part of the ransom to save Luis..)

  13. I agree with the previous post. Luis can bend down to any level. Maybe he might hire his kidnappers to do all dirty work for him.

  14. Luis, en realidad la cituacion en Guatemala esta tan mal como la pintan?

    estare viajando a Antigua Guatemala, tendre los mismos problemas a los que as mencionado?



  15. Luis, why have you stopped blogging??
    --Your fan

  16. Loved the Human Computation video. Had to tell you that. I try to tell people about it and .. I get blank looks as I enthusiastically say, "but you don't understand! If we just switched gears and did this we could play games for a living! "

    I get the feeling if I told co-workers there's a bear on fire running in the woods on YOUTUBE I'd get their attention.

    Imagine if we combined the good parts of the Venus project, i.e. resource based economy and included similar methods for work production as the awesome that would be.

    Anyways, awesome..just awesome.. keep it up. Now that I know you have a blog I'll be checking back.

  17. I really..just..want to emphasize what an impact your video had on me. I recently added a word to my vocabulary the other day.. autodidactic. And I really feel that is what I am. I don't go to school but I teach myself something everyday. And your Human Computation project really pushed me forward into a new kind of thinking. And I wanted to thank you for that.

    -ok, I'm done.

  18. You said your aunt was Kidnapped.Can you share the situation that you faced?
    It would be useful for Us.

  19. Luis,

    I understand what you mean about kidknappings in third world countries. I have family in Colombia and Panama and I have been through that experience with a family friend. It's true, if you don't haggle with the abductors then they will ask for more. Also, I have thought about getting people from markets in Morocco or Colombia to help me out with negotations as well. I've always wondered how these market sellsman would do as telemarketers in the US.