Posts by Dr. Boli


Are you ready for a career in marketing? Consider these real-life situations and see how close you come to making the correct marketing decision.

Let us suppose that you are a seller of toothpaste to the grateful masses, and let us suppose that your toothpaste comes in a five-ounce tube, which is packaged in a cardboard box. How can you convince the wary consumer in the store that your toothpaste is a bargain?

25% free

Yes, that should do it: “25% FREE.” You are not just getting five ounces of toothpaste: you are getting one more ounce than you would if you bought four ounces at the same price. This is time-honored marketing logic.

Now let us suppose the bean-counters have counted their beans and come up one bean short, and it is determined that your company will sell tubes of toothpaste in a cardboard box of exactly the same dimensions, but with only four ounces inside instead of five. How will you, the marketer, label these boxes to show at a glance that, though they occupy the same space on the shelf, they have less toothpaste inside?

60% free


Brought On by Hearing One Too Many Other Songs of Nostalgia for the Dear Old South.

Take me back to the dear ol’ Sout’land.
To the hey-y’all sho’-nuff hush-mah-mout’ land,
To the stuck-down-here-an’-I-wanna-get-out land,
Oh, take me back!

Take me back to the land o’ cotton,
Down where Appomattox ain’t forgotten.
I been feelin’ good, and I wanna feel rotten,
So take me back!

Let me go down there, and once I’ve descended,
There is where my cares and woes will be ended.
Won’t it be splendid?

Take me back to the ol’ plantation,
So my blood can boil with indignation,
’Cause my wallet card says “No resuscitation”—
Oh, take me back!


TO: All Employees
FROM: Your President
RE: Change in Management Direction

All of us here at the Schenectady Small Arms & Biscuit Co., Inc., are very proud of the progress we have made since 1843, when my great-great grandfather J. Horatio Pinckney founded this company with nothing more than a vision, a drive to succeed, and a large inheritance from his maiden aunt Euphemia. Since then we have risen to be the largest manufacturer of snack foods and munitions in the Capital District, and it would be false modesty to deny that our success is attributable to the wisdom and perspicacity of your management team. I had to look up perspicacity in Funk & Wagnall’s, but I think it’s the right word.

Nevertheless, times change, and the world moves on. Although if what my fourth-grade science teacher said is right, the world ends up right back where it started in a year, so perhaps “the world moves on” is not a persuasive argument. Regardless, you should know that your management team is constantly adapting and learning new things, because we read in a management magazine last April that management should be constantly adapting and learning new things, and we believe everything we read in management magazines.

From our extensive research in these magazines, and especially in the advertisements in the back, we determined that it was necessary for your management team to attend a week-long management seminar in Las Vegas. My memory of the events of that week is a little hazy, but one thing that stood out through the alcoholic haze is that the top-down management model is definitely a thing of the past. Instead, the up-to-date successful business demands a bottom-up approach.

Let me explain the difference between the two management models. In a top-down management model, upper management, meaning myself, determines what is to be done and issues suitable instructions to employees. In a bottom-up management model, on the other hand, employees gather for brainstorming sessions, form committees to meet on a regular schedule, make sure that every voice is heard and no employee is left behind, and take responsibility for results, and then upper management determines what is to be done and issues suitable instructions to employees. The difference, in other words, is in who takes the blame. I am sure I do not need to enumerate the advantages of the bottom-up approach, at least from the point of view of upper management.

The immediate intent of this memorandum, therefore, is to inform you that all employees will be required to attend a two-hour brainstorming session every Monday morning in your department. Since this will be two hours during which no productive work is accomplished, the two hours spent in the brainstorming session will be made up on Tuesday. The two hours of Monday makeup on Tuesday will be made up on Wednesday, and so on, and employees will be required to work two hours Saturday mornings going forward, or Sunday mornings if they are going backward. And when you are brainstorming, remember that your prospects for advancement will be greatly increased if your suggestions are made in line with the decisions your management team has already made. Think of it as a guessing game. Together, we can all make our implementation of the bottom-up management model a success.

Yours sincerely,
J. Rutherford Pinckney,


This is a turkey standing in a cemetery. Why did it come to a cemetery? To get to the Other Side.

This is a turkey standing in a cemetery. Why did it come to a cemetery? To get to the Other Side.

In Australia, the main Thanksgiving dish is traditionally roast emu. This explains why Thanksgiving has not been celebrated in Australia since 1938, the emu being a tricky fellow to roast.

In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated a month earlier than in the United States, while it is still possible to thaw a frozen turkey in the Canadian climate.

In Argentina, Thanksgiving is celebrated at the end of the annual turkey roundup. It is traditional that more gauchos than turkeys are injured in the event.

In Turkey, celebrating Thanksgiving in the American style is punishable as “slandering the Turkish nation.”

In North Korea, everyone is thankful for everything every day and there are no ungrateful people anywhere ever.

In the Solomon Islands, Thanksgiving is held a week later than in the United States, so as to allow for as scrupulous a reenactment of the televised portions of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as can be managed with local materials.

In China, on the eve of the People’s Day of Gratitude, the government distributes an itemized list of things for which citizens are to be grateful.