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November 2, 2007
You should be able to pay to avoid being put on hold, says Donald Boudreaux in The Christian Science Monitor. “Your time is valuable.” Callers now compete for “scare resources—live agents” with “the currency of patience.” It would be more efficient to use “real currency,” so people who need “quick service” could pay to speak to an operator “within, say, 90 seconds,” guaranteed. Others could benefit, too, because companies would hire more operators. You may “grimace at this suggestion,” but “if I were running Delta Airlines or Home Depot, I’d give it a try.”
How to beat Google
You can topple Google, but only by working “smarter and harder, not just smarter,” says John Dvorak in MarketWatch. The search giant just became the “fifth-largest company in the USA” for one simple reason: “Google computers are working harder than the competition,” as “anyone who runs a blog and has good metrics” can tell you. All the rest is “smoke and mirrors.” Google’s challengers seem to think “smarter” search initiatives will work, but that’s like expecting a football team of “brainiacs from Caltech” to beat an NFL team just by being smarter—“a fun game to watch, but only for the humor.”
of The Week magazine.