A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend about how the current disagreements among the various Golden Dawn Orders look downright pleasant compared to the flame wars from a dozen years ago. When my friend asked me why the flame wars were worse a decade ago, I answered with what I believe is the true answer.
The flame wars were started by someone who wanted a monopoly.
My friend asked me to explain my reasoning for this answer, so I did.
One of the things that someone steeped in business like myself want to know about the Golden Dawn marketplace is how much you can get on average from each person in the market. It is not enourgh to know how many people there are in the market, you also need to know how much they are willing to spend.
The actions you take catering to such an audience depends upon your opinion of how much of the market will be interested in your product, and how much they are willing to pay for it.
Overall, I estimate that the average member of the Golden Dawn market is willing to shell out a hundred dollars beyond the cost of assembling such products every year. Please note that I am assuming that the product creators are getting paid for the expense of their products (books, membership packets, robes, tools, etc.); that the hundred dollars that we are talking about is the extra margin that the Golden Dawn consumer is willing to shell out per year beyond that cost.
A hundred dollars profit, that is it. And as you know from my previous posts in this series, I estimate that the Golden Dawn market is only maybe a thousand people all together. That is a hundred dollars worth of profit to be divided up among ALL the Golden Dawn product producers per Golden Dawn consumer every year.
In my case, I figure my market share will even be smaller than the whole, and the amount that they will be willing to give me nowhere near approaching the total they are willing to shell out to the entire market.
Figure a hundred people, a dime of profit each, during a good year. Therefore for me, devoting myself to Golden Dawn product production is not a sound economic decision. In my defense, I like talking about the Golden Dawn more than I love the sound of Gold-Pressed Latinum.
(Hey, I heard that groan. I have been told that I should use more Star Trek references on my blog...because Golden Dawn members really love Star Trek. Who would I be to ignore such potential profitable advice? Besides, this column does involve Ferengi-like behavior as you are about to see.)
But consider this---what if you could get ALL the members of the Golden Dawn market to give you ALL the money that they are willing to spend on Golden Dawn in a year? And continue to do so year after year?
A dozen years ago, someone tried to do exactly that.
Think about it. A hundred dollars times a thousand people equals...a hundred thousand dollars a year...equals a million dollars per decade.
But the only way to get all the money was to
(Please note that this is a personal theory to explain what happened. Who the guilty party was depends upon who you talk to. And the guilty parties will promptly insist that I am wrong.)
The hoped-to-become monopolist doused everyone with gasoline and lit a match. People tossed back gasoline to defend themselves, their reputation, and their right to discuss Golden Dawn.
If you do not believe me about this theory, just wait until you see someone new come into the Golden Dawn who has decided that they want to be the only authority on the block. This economic theory explains their behavior just as well as theories saying that their egos are out of control.
And I am not the only one that is using the theory either; I am just the only one willing to state what the percieved prize is---a hundred thousand dollars a year.
Every writer that is accused of writing a Golden Dawn book just for profit is a victim of this theory. (And lets be honest, that accusation will be tossed at me, sooner or later.) Every Order Head is accused of only doing it for the money. (That day is coming for me too.)
The sad part is that we do have people who are doing exactly that...but MOST are honest people who just like talking about Golden Dawn.
So how do you separate the hope-to-be monopolists from the passionate talkers? Simple, if you see them give out things that level the playing field, odds are that they are merely passionate about Golden Dawn. And if you see actions that imply that they are the only source of real Golden Dawn information and esoteric wisdom, odds are they are a little budding monopoly building Ferengi.
And yes, I do realize that I am nothing more than a happy little cynic. Remember to tip your waitress. Enjoy the rest of the show, starting with the rebuttal by...