By Invitation Only

Tom Glocer, CEO of Thomson Reuters, writes this about inherent human insecurities around exclusivity that marketers exploit in creating maximizing seller’s surplus

Although the victims of this enormous fraud (Subrata: Tom is referring to Bernie Madoff) deserve our help and sympathy, at its core what made Bernie’s scam so powerful was the seductive offer it extended to investors to let them into the inner circle, a private club or sanctum sanctorum to which few are ever admitted.  This reminds me in an odd way of the allure of the luxury goods market: “Madam, we could not possibly sell you a fabled Birkin bag; the waiting list is years long.”  Followed, some weeks or months later by the helpful call of a sympathetic store manager who reports that one such extremely expensive handbag happens to have surfaced at a sister store which might be available if the shopper could act fast.

I recently was invited to join PeerPOwer – a professional networking site. The site promised exclusivity – one can join “By Invitation Only”. Until I read the home page

peerpower1

Question: Why does the industry spawn off regional flavors of online networking sites (PeerPower is a Times of India initiative)? I mean, wasn’t LinkedIn quite adequate? I can understand this for matrimonial sites like this and this where physical interaction is a neccessary step two, but this one beats me. Any thoughts?

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