Myth 170 - Improvement
Improvement in the commercial sense in the provision of goods and services means an increase in value of the service or goods provided. It could come in more quantity, better quality, better service or lower price. Using a chicken rice stall as an example. A stall may be selling a plate at $3 with 5 pieces of chicken. His next competitor may offer 6 pieces at the same price or add in a bowl of soup. Another may improve the quality of rice or chicken. A more aggressive competitor will sell the same thing for $2! Now this is real competition and real improvement in the value of the product or service. In a cartel or monopolistic condition, or in a make belief competitive environment, the best you get in terms of competition is hogwash. If every additional piece of chicken means another dollar, it is not improvement. There is no betterment in value. In fact it is more expensive. What about hotel selling chicken rice for $15 a plate? They provide a totally different experience in quality, quantity and service. Aircon, waitresses serving, better quality crockery, better quantity etc. And the customers are not complaining and going for more. The difference is that they have a very selected customer base. The people who are rich and can afford to pay for quality. They would not mind paying 3 or 10 times the price an average customer will pay. In the provision of exclusive goods and services, this kind of differentiation is acceptable and make business sense. But when the service is to the masses, to the ordinary people in the street, the Ah Pek and Ah Mahs and the poor foreign workers, we need to think twice about providing world class services. These people have no choices, and don't have the money to pay. On the other hand if we really want to provide world class services and price it at world class prices, it is a conscious decision. Then we can do away with the poor buggers who cannot afford the service. Tell them the brutal truth. Can't afford find alternative means. Walk or cycle. Public service and public administration is not serving the elite class.