No seamonsters though.
What is your business model built on?
One of the first places we went to in Toronto was Chinatown.
While there are several Chinese communities in Toronto there is one not too far from the CN Tower that most resembles what most people probably think of.
It forms a "T" at the intersection of two roads. I forget which roads now. I made a joke of mispronouncing the main road so I could remember it and now I can’t remember the correct or incorrect name. 🙂
*The main road is Spadina (I was calling it Spiderman)*
You can tell when you reach Chinatown since all the shops have Chinese signs.
Lots of restaurants. Lots of souvenir shops which sell nearly anything. Several Chinese grocery stores. There are also two indoor malls full of Chinese and Asian shops.
My wife’s favorites are the grocery and produce shops.
Everywhere we went my wife wanted to visit the Asian grocery stores. She does this every time we travel. We do not have a large Chinese or Asian store near where we live so I guess maybe that is why she likes to see them. I don’t really get it though. The picture above was taken outside one of the produce stores.
The Chinese shops in Toronto have several fruits that I have never seen before. I have not seen them in Chicago either, so I wonder if they are imported into the US. Some of them are pretty strange looking to me. My wife loves them. On our way back to the US she was busy trying to finish what she had in the car before we got to the border. They didn’t check our car after all.
Beware – Pirates!
I was amazed to see how blatant piracy was in Chinatown. You can get 7 DVD’s for $20. If you don’t mind a bit of smudge on the label. Exchanges are only if the DVD does not work in their player.
Nearly all the movies and CD’s that appeared to be pirated here were Chinese or Asian.
While at the Pacific Mall (I plan to talk about this in my next post) you could find a DVD of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie that was just released in theaters that weekend. Some stores here were so blatant that they had blank empty DVD cases under the displays. They do not accept Visa there apparently (I tried to buy a DVD player).
You may have to walk the plank
I was told that, occasionally, officials do come and when they do they arrest not only the business employees but also any customers that happen to be in the store also.
I really do not believe any business model built on piracy or theft is a good plan.
In addition to the legal issues, I don’t see how it can last from a business point of view. You copy a movie, the business next to you copies your copy and his cost is now less (or you both download it). The customer gets a poor quality product (that is if it works – often there is no way for the customer to even get a refund if it doesn’t work). I do not see how anyone really wins with this business model. I am sure not all the customers know that they buying a pirated movie or CD. I did see one person trying to get a movie that did not work replaced. I’m kinda glad they did not take Visa – what if the DVD player gets the same customer service?
What about online piracy and your advertisers?
I am going to complain about Clickbank here. Not about get rich quick ebooks, but about promoting piracy networks. While there is an attempt to look legit, I find it hard to believe that any of the sites claiming you can download all the latest movies and music you want for a low monthly fee are honest. The customer is either going to have to pay more for a real download (like iTunes) or the site is promoting a file sharing network (and the customer is being duped into paying for something just as illegal as if they did it without paying a monthly fee).
Think your not a pirate?
Running Adsense? Think all those download sites are really honest? A lot of them are simply promoting the same sites from Clickbank. It is very hard to find good advertisers if you are looking in certain niches. You can try not to promote piracy, but it is difficult. It’s depressing if you want to work in the iPod niche. You have iTunes (and who with an iPod would not already have that) and not much else that shows up looks legitimate.
For a slightly John Chow moment:
No pirates but there could be seamonsters in the bathroom.
My next post about Toronto will be about the Pacific Mall.
One of the coolest malls I have ever seen. I think it is an interesting business concept (despite the pirates).