Many years ago when I lived in Chicago, we were briefly on the shortlist of cities in the running to hold the 2016 Summer Olympics. Chicago was eliminated relatively early in the selection process and the Games ultimately went to Rio de Janeiro.
Shortly after the announcement that Rio was the spot and that our property values in Chicago would not, in fact, be skyrocketing – or plummeting, depending on which expert you asked – for some reason, which I can’t recall, I heard about Rio supposedly being the “stabbing capital of the world.”
Now, hold the phone. No knock here, Rio.
This was just random musings at a bar, most likely.
And, remember: I was in… CHICAGO! Which is probably (not subjectively) one of the most violent cities in the world.
So, I’m not pointing any fingers here.
Big cities, everywhere, including in the United States and Brazil, tend to have serious problems with crime. That’s not where we’re going with this.
Where we’re going is Stab Vests.
Bear with me here, it’ll all come full circle. I promise.
Through my various circles and my limited research on the topic, there was talk – internet rumblings or bar fly speculation – about how there would be a sharp uptick in personal protection equipment for all of the athletes and tourists coming to view the Games.
And among all that PPE, a popular piece of apparel, in Rio, was the stab vest.
To which my guppy brain couldn’t possibly resist learning more about.
“Is it like chain mail?”
“Is it made out of Kevlar?”
“Is it breathable?”
“Does this stab vest make me look fat?”
Countless questions raced through my mind.
So I fired up the trusty ‘ole Google and searched for “stab vests” only to be presented with an auto-suggest option for “Cheapest stab vest” as the number one recommendation.
And that is what we’re talking about today.
Not the fact that Google didn’t care about my safety or that they thought I was a cheapskate or anything like that. No, the reason Google had suggested that to me is because so many other people had searched for exactly that, in a short period of time.
And I literally think back to that moment each and every single time I see someone asking in the WP Hosting group – or anywhere across the Internet – “what’s the cheapest hosting I can get for [INSERT COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT NON-ISSUE]?”
I think back to Rio and the low-cost stab vests.
Now before we get into people with really wooly thinking about their hosting, let’s drill down a bit: Imagine someone who genuinely feels that they are at such a high risk of getting stabbed that they NEED to do something to protect themselves… but they’re so price-conscious that they’re willing to cut corners. (Zing!)
And not only was there ONE person who felt this way, but there were so many people searching Google for this “solution” that Google was actively suggesting that I also search for really dumb shit.
All the brainpower and algorithmic superiority in the world and Google says “Sure, you don’t want your guts spilled out in a dark alley in Rio… but you also love a bargain!” WTAF?
As an aside: what would be “the line” which these people wouldn’t cross in service of saving money in this context? What would be too cheap… if they were just regular vests that were really thick? Or if it was just clearly two vests that had been sewn together?
What if they arrived at a page that sold a trash-bag-thin rain parka with the sleeves cut off?
Would that be too cheap?
I just did a quick search for “cheap stab vests” and BLESS THEIR HEARTS wish.com did not disappoint! They somehow think that the $288 retail price tag, crossed out, to reveal the $36 actual price… that all of this is somehow a good thing. Three stars by one reviewer, who sadly left no additional details.
So let’s jump back to the people asking for the business-continuity equivalent thing, in their quest for the “cheapest hosting” they could find.
I used to push back on these people. I used to try to strongly encourage them to think differently and to turn this thing around in their heads a little bit more.
I would ask questions like “What is being hosted in this hypothetical situation that is SO utterly worthless that you’re looking to make the lowest possible investment? And if this situation calls for so little concern about all kinds of intangibles that have nothing to do with price… perhaps the project isn’t worth pursuing at all…?”
After years of smashing my head against that brick wall, I’m pleased to announce: I don’t do that shit anymore. Not because it’s a helpless cause. I saved countless souls from EIG purgatory by asking these questions and pushing them outside of their comfort zones.
What has changed and what has become clear to me now is that I can have FAR more impact by serving people who are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, both in terms of their intellectual understanding of the tasks at hand AND in terms of their budgets.
People who want to make a serious investment in bolting on a strong recurring revenue model to their existing agency business, those are the people who I can help, THE MOST.
And my hope is by leveraging a growing network of these like-minded builders/devs/WP shops, that all those people will then go forth to save others. And their employees and their colleagues and their circle of friends and their disciples will in turn expand the reach of safer, more sound, high-impact thinking. And they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on.
And, eventually, at some not-too-distant future version of the Matrix, when someone has strayed from the flock and they start to bleat out their request for “cheapest hosting for my lemonade stand” someone OTHER than me will say “Hey, Ricky, Lemme tell you about the cheap stab vests…”
And someone else will say “+1” and do the finger up emoji and still, someone else will post that animated GIF of the dude pointing upwards saying “THIS!”
That’s what we do here.
We try our best to build the polar opposite of really shitty ideas, and we just hope that y’all do a good job spreading the word.
And, if for some reason we falter a bit and what we’re doing is NOT memorable or compelling enough then, by all means, become an affiliate or a vendor for this guy.
Because WHOLE LEE SHIT! Is this guy not messing around!