Re: New option: Leave Extropians as is, start exi-members list

Harvey Newstrom (
Wed, 03 Dec 1997 11:01:55 -0500 wrote:
> In a message dated 12/2/97 12:42:17 PM, (none)
> wrote:
> >It never ceases to amaze me how many people complain that something is
> >being "taken away" when it was a freebie to begin with.
> I agree it's neither fair nor rational, but that's just how people are.
> It really is nearly universal; what's there to be amazed about?

As soon as Max's comment came across my screen, I remarked to my roomate
that while public response to this announcement was extremely
predictable, I was willing to bet money that people would express utter
suprise when the "backlash" occurred.

As Curt says, this response is indeed nearly universal and very
predictable. I rather am dismayed that people who attempt to predict and
plan the future are not able to predict such an obvious reaction.

Besides human-nature, Basic Economics dictates that a price increase is
concurrent with a demand decrease. By free-market standards, the
increase in the cost of receiving the list will decrease its
membership. If decreasing membership is not the goal of the price
increase, than it may not meet the expected goal. Obviously, Max's
original claim that the price increase would reduce noise or spam was
met was skepticism. Max's later explanation that it was really a
revenue-enhancing move for ExI seems more likely, but the Public
Relations or "Advertising" could have been handled more smoothly.

Obviously, any price increase would mean more money for ExI than
nothing. How much of a price increase would bring the most revenue is a
matter for debate. The higher the price, the less members you get. The
lower the price, the more members you get. This is basic free-market

One idea that I have not seen expressed is the implicit choice that many
readers on this list have made. They choose to read the list, but they
have chosen not to join ExI. By linking the two choices, Max is forcing
people to choose whether their reasons for reading this list outweigh
their reasons for not having previously joined ExI. If this is indeed a
revenue-enhancing move, I hope Max and ExI have done some market studies
to support their belief that this move will have the intended result.

Harvey Newstrom  (