Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Game Is The Game

I love The Wire.  It is pretty much one of my all time favorite television shows.  For those of you not familiar, it chronicled the city of Baltimore and those struggling to live there and police it, here is a link -

What constantly comes up in the watch business on ALL LEVELS is the propensity of those in the big chairs to take advantage of those scrambling to make a deal, a sale, or even catch someones attention.  It's dog-eat-dog, and for the independents and little players out there, they often come to find too late that they are indeed wearing "Milk-Bone" boxer shorts.

But as Omar constantly reminds us -

Look man, I do what I can do to help y'all. But the game is out there, and it's either play or get played. 

Where do new ideas, innovations, partnership ideas come from?  Well, often times we would believe that this all cooks in the brand's own kitchen.  Crack teams of PR,  Media, R&D folks burning the midnight oil and coming up with genius ideas, one after the other.  The truth is often pretty far from there.

How often do we see or read about a watch maker putting in time and money to create that new horological concoction just to get hosed by the bigger brand when it's time to pay the check?  Big brand sails on, little supplier has to close up shop, let people go, eat Top Ramen until things sort themselves out.  Like any bully, the big brand is usually playing the odds that the watchmaker will not have the gumption, financial resources, or patience to fight them.  Sometimes it is blatant, sometimes it is just taking advantage.  To whit I reference one of my favorite exchanges from The Wire, regarding of all things, the invention of Chicken McNuggets.  Just remember, Ronald McDonald didn't get to be the world's greatest fast food clown through sheer niceness and the power of his personality -

D'Angelo: ... please, the man who invented them things, just some sad-ass down at the basement of McDonald's, thinkin' up some shit to make some money for the real players.
Poot: Naw, man, that ain't right.
D’Angelo: Fuck "right." It ain't about right, it's about money. Now you think Ronald McDonald gonna go down in that basement and say, "Hey, Mr. Nugget, you the bomb. We sellin' chicken faster than you can tear the bone out. So I'm gonna write my clowny-ass name on this fat-ass check for you"?

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