How many of you are just working whatever job you happened to fall into in order to pay the bills, but you’re still secretly holding out hope that you’re about to stumble across your multi-million dollar idea that initially seems kind of lame but everyone else loves for some reason, like post-it notes and drink umbrellas and those fugly decorative things designed to bedazzle the swiss cheese holes of even fuglier Crocs (seriously — that stay-at-home mom sold her idea for $10 million to the Croc people).
And, once that happens, you’ll be able to retire and your life will finally — finally — start?
**Imagine me sheepishly raising my hand right now**
Some of these ideas were slowly cultivated, researched, and marketed, while others were lightning strike strokes of random luck — the exact opposite of stepping out your front door, tripping on a crack in the sidewalk, and knocking out your two front teeth. All because you wanted to get your mail.
But for the most part, they all have one thing in common: they are all products or services that are playful, interesting, and have a broad range of appeal.
However, there are certain niche businesses who undoubtedly generate respectable sums of money while providing goods or services that are… shall we say… less than respectable.
(Or are they actually incredibly respectable because they’re so mind-bogglingly disrespectable — unrespectable? — repugnant?? — that it almost makes them look genius? Almost.)
The idea: A couple of days ago I read about a man named Bart Centre, who started a company in 2009 called Eternal Earth-bound Pets, which offers a pet rescue and fostering service to Christians who might be whisked up to Heaven in the event of a Rapture.
The genius: Centre has built a network of 44 pre-screened atheist animal lovers who have the means and desire to rescue pets from the abandoned homes of the Saved. In guaranteeing that his caretakers are atheists, true-believing Christians can rest easy, knowing their beloved pets will be well cared for in the hands of those who are destined for Hell.
The twist: Following the website’s compelling tag-line (“The next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World“), is an intro paragraph that reads… well… more than a little patronizing:
You’ve committed your life to Jesus. You know you’re saved. But when the Rapture comes what’s to become of your loving pets who are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.
Then there’s all the businessy stuff, followed by the terms. Centre charges a whopping $135 for the first pet ($20 for all subsequent pets), guaranteeing rescue for up to 10 years from the date of payment. The article states that Centre is now servicing 259 clients, and at $135 a pop, that comes to almost $35,000!! (*Note: Until the recent May 21st Rapture estimation, the business had been charging $110, so he hasn’t made quite that much. Yet.)
The question: Is this okay? Regardless of what you believe, is it ethically responsible for a man to blatantly poke fun at another person’s religion and then make money off of the very beliefs he mocks?
In my opinion, the answer is a surprising, yes.
Because in the end, whether he’s mocking or not, he really is providing a service — peace of mind to those who believe, and a little humor to those who don’t.
And just like a Jibbitzed Croc hole, how could it be wrong when it feels so right?
You have a point it is a “service” that is a preventative for an “specific situation”. I don’t think its so much mocking as it is preying on the fears of people. Also its no more or less ethically responsible than any other insurance , security system or other such services sales people and others do the same thing by posing the same question “what if ……” and then offering a solution for a price.
The thing the croc lady and the other person have in common is “out of the box” thinking. they stopped relying on the traditional way of making money (9-5). Which is something alot of still dont do.
“but you’re still secretly holding out hope that you’re about to stumble across your multi-million dollar idea that initially seems kind of lame but everyone else loves for some reason, ”
Inventing somthing requires captital and risk as stated in the article the croc lady used equity in their home and their parents as laborer . If the product haded taken off they would have lost all that investment.
Which is why I wrote my ( recently redesigned). website and articles to show people you don’t need to reinvent the wheel or invent anything new to improve your life or financial future. In fact. You can have your own business for no investment or risk.. Everyones future is in their hands Its all about choice and what path you truly want your life to take.
Very well-said. Yes, it might be looked at as preying on fears, but at the same time, these peoples’ fears are satiated in knowing their pets will be taken care of. So, while yes, it’s questionable how “ethical” or “moral” his business is, he still IS providing a service these people are seeking.
And you’re right – all of those other examples involved a certain amount of risk. Lucky for them, it was worth it!
I agree with you – totally OK. He is providing a service, and what he’s offering is completely legal. If people choose to believe the world is about to end, then he is really helping give them piece of mind. The next CNN Hero, I think. :) haha, okay not quite… but I don’t see anything wrong with it!
Haha, I guess that’s what I was trying to say. ;)
I’m just going to put this out there, as unpopular as it may be: People who believed the wacky evangelist that the Rapture was going to happen Saturday are just stupid, not super believers, stupid. Believing that the Rapture will happen sometime makes you a fervent believer, believing that Joe Schmoe can tell you when is stupid. A fervent believer would have, in theory, read the part of the bible where Jesus says nobody will know when it will happen. A stupid person would believe any random drivel coming from their radio without further investigation.
So back on topic: taking money from stupid people is a public service, but making money off of peoples beliefs, misguided or not, may hit an ethical grey area.
Definitely harsh, but I have to agree. Though I still hate to call people stupid… there’s a fine line between that and ridiculously hopeful naivety. ;)