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The Wisdom of a $12 Haircut ^ | October 8, 2011 | Bill Tatro

Posted on 10/08/2011 6:32:47 AM PDT by Kaslin

Periodically, when I want to really understand the mood of America, I return to my home town of Clifton Springs, NY, and get a haircut from my old barber, Frankie D.

His is a barbershop from the old days with two antique barber chairs, a cramped waiting area filled with old magazines, and always a ballgame on the television.

The smell of Old Spice and Noxzema shaving cream combined with the heavy aroma of talcum powder takes me back to another era, and is definitely worth the price of a $12 haircut.

No fancy hairstyle, no salon treatment, no bells or whistles, just a good old-fashioned haircut.

Along with a cut, you get the unique views and opinions of Frankie D., along with his 80 years of visionary wisdom. I asked him about the unfortunate recent death of Steve Jobs, and how Jobs impacted Frankie D’s life.

Frankie doesn’t own a cell phone, nor an iPod or an iPad, but he does own an old-time Mac that he purchased many years ago.

“Pretty good,” he said, “but it’s currently unplugged.”

Frankie added, “Jobs was like another Thomas Edison, but a better marketer. Jobs learned his craft from P.T. Barnum.”

“Huh,” I exclaimed.

“Sure,” he said, “He’s just like that guy from Starbucks. He gets people hooked, and then they believe they can’t live without their Starbucks fix.”

Not waiting for me to comment, Frankie launched into a soliloquy on how the American public, and in fact the world, is hooked on caffeine and sugar, which are the two main ingredients that are so important for Starbuck’s special formula of success.

He took a breather long enough for me to interject a quick question.

“But how about the free Wi-Fi, the music, all the other goodies, along with the cultural experience,” I asked.

“It’s simple,” Frankie replied, “P. T Barnum, it’s all marketing, it’s just caffeine and sugar.”

He added, “That Jobs guy, he produced some really great products.”

Once again I snuck in a quick query, “But why do people always need his next upgrade if it’s all just marketing, iPhone5, iPad2, iPod6, or whatever?”

“Are you kidding me,” Frankie D. ranted, “He had them hooked, just like that Starbuck’s guy – caffeine and sugar.”

“Well,” I said, “You’ve got to give both guys credit; don’t you think they were both very successful as people kept returning to their products?”

“Absolutely,” Frankie D. replied. “If you get em hooked, they always come back, P. T Barnum at its finest.”

He went on, “After all, you came back for a haircut, didn’t ya? That’ll be 12 bucks.”

The memories were great, the perspective interesting, and the haircut, oh well, it’ll grow back.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: default; economy; haircut
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To: Kaslin
This barber is probably as a PAW (Prodigious Accumulator of Wealth), according to the Millionaire Next Door.
21 posted on 10/08/2011 8:51:10 AM PDT by MadelineZapeezda (Milan Puskar: Forever a Mountaineer!)
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To: Magic Fingers
And not all that insightful an opinion at that. The world wasn’t “hooked on caffeine and sugar” before Starbucks? Lame.

Back during the internet bubble, I was in a meeting with venture capitalists discussing the funding of a new hi-tech company. One of the prospective investors was perhaps a little slow and indicated unfamiliarity with the term "business model". A one-sentence definition was offered. Oh, said he. Our business model is really simple: We turn fat, sugar, and caffeine into money. He owned most of the Dunkin' Donuts shops in the area.

22 posted on 10/08/2011 8:57:39 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: cynwoody

‘”Our business model is really simple: We turn fat, sugar, and caffeine into money.” He owned most of the Dunkin’ Donuts shops in the area.’

LOL - perfect. What’s old is new again...

23 posted on 10/08/2011 10:07:23 AM PDT by Magic Fingers
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To: Kaslin

He who cuts his own hair is wiser.

24 posted on 10/08/2011 2:59:40 PM PDT by familyop ("Don't worry, they'll row for a month before they figure out I'm fakin' it." --Deacon, "Waterworld")
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To: Magic Fingers
"...We turn fat, sugar, and caffeine into money..."

Knew a guy in the espresso stand biz (small place, more than a stand, but just a small one room shop) who told me he realized after a while, that he wasn't in the coffee business as much as he was in the milk business.

Those latte's (the most popular specialty coffee drink, by far) are mainly steamed milk.

25 posted on 10/08/2011 4:27:37 PM PDT by 7MMmag (oh man, pull over man, you're going too fast, man...)
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To: rellimpank
Yeah, if you want an experience, you have to select your barber carefully. I have had the same barber for twenty-something years now, because he has high-profile people in his shop and his clientele. I get a lot of inside dope on the pro sports teams and local politics. And he does a great job cutting hair.
26 posted on 10/08/2011 5:17:05 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: 50sDad
The coin was the Spanish real, which circulated as money in the American colonies well past independence. And you are right, it was cut into eighths for small change.
27 posted on 10/08/2011 5:21:11 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: cynwoody
Jobs taught people to need things they couldn't even ima gine, much less know they needed.

That is the essence of marketing isn't it--get people to buy things they don't need for more money than they should have spent.

Starbucks is the same way--you can get sugar and caffeine for 70 cents at McDonalds, and it's better tasting coffee, but some a-holes insist on paying five bucks to the liberals at Starbucks for the same thing.

28 posted on 10/08/2011 5:27:05 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: buffyt
I always cut my own,

Since it was YOU that brought it up, we all noticed........We've all chipped in and are sending you $12 to get it done by someone who marginally knows what they're doing. LOL!

It should do wonders for your love life........

29 posted on 10/08/2011 5:34:50 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (ui)
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To: gogogodzilla

Little shop down the road is run by an old Vietnamese woman. Joked with her one time that she cut hair like they did at Fayetteville when I was with the 82nd.

She laughed and said that was where she started back in the 60’s.

$12 haircut, includes the razor, talcum, and a shoulder massage. Takes me back every time I’m there.

30 posted on 10/08/2011 5:44:12 PM PDT by 11Bush
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To: Kaslin

bread and circuses... same difference...

31 posted on 10/08/2011 5:49:35 PM PDT by sit-rep
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To: Kaslin

My Barber is the daughter of my former Barber. She learned from her Dad how to cut hair and worked for him part time to supplement the household income. When her Dad died from brain cancer, she took over the shop, and she still gives 25% of the gross to her Mother as a pension.

She is the ONLY person I will let near my hair.

32 posted on 10/08/2011 6:05:14 PM PDT by Petruchio (I Think . . . Therefor I FReep.)
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