Mr.Warren Buffett had never been in such a unique situation before. Well, he was not called “The Oracle of Omaha” for playing it safe. So staying true to his reputation, he had invested in 2 companies who had absolutely nothing in common. One of them was a booming corporation which almost enjoyed a monopoly and continued to woo consumers through its innovation and superlative leadership. The other was a dying business which did not have many takers but Buffett saw tremendous potential and a strong brand name. New leadership at the helm breathed renewed vigor to the company through a promise of hope and change.
You should have guessed it by now. Buffett had put his faith and money on Hell Inc run by none other than Steve Jobs and his hope and (alas!) money on Heaven Corp’s potential resurrection envisioned by the new CEO Barack Obama. A year had gone by and Buffett had mixed emotions ahead of his meeting with the 2 numero unos. Hell Inc has been raising money like “hell” while Heaven Corp was still recovering from its eternal depression.
Buffett: Well, Mr. Obama. Heaven seems pretty deserted. No takers, eh? There has been no “change” in your company’s balance sheet!
Obama: I don’t see why people on earth do not want to come to heaven. It is the best place that could ever be! Perhaps we need to market ourselves better! Hell seems to be getting a better “Word of mouth”. Almost everyone tells the other person to “go to hell” nowadays.
Buffett: Hmm… I am not so sure you can change that. Heaven seems so out of fashion these days. Plus you have very strict immigration laws. People find it so hard to get in. Have you considered relaxing them? You know, Jobs immediately processes “red” cards for hell immigrants!
Why do you even need immigration laws? No one wants to get in there even “legally”! A confident voice interrupts them.
Buffett: Ah… Welcome Mr.Jobs. All seems to be well in hell. I am dying to ask you this. What is it that makes hell so attractive? I heard people are making reservations for their grand children already!
Jobs: Oh.. the underlying idea is so simple. In these troubled times, who does not like to watch another person suffer?
Buffett: What do you mean? I don’t get it.
Jobs: Well.. we run a 1 year free trial offer. During that year, every customer gets to see different types of torture inflicted on our existing “loyal” customers. It is like a long movie or even better.. a reality show. They seem to really enjoy it and after a year, they willingly sign up for our lifetime plan. And then they become subjects of torture for our “future” customers, trapped forever in the realm of hell.
Buffett: What a brilliant idea to build the customer base. Only you can come up with this, Jobs!
Jobs: What a sick idea! You are more dangerous than Bin Laden.
Buffett: Come on! He is a genius. By the way, what plans have you got for improving your business? If you don’t turn it around, people will think that Soros is better than me!
Obama: Don’t worry. We have new revamped entertainment resorts all set for occupation. We have live concerts, talk shows to impart knowledge, celebrity guests et all. Oprah and Brangelina are among the many who will make surprise appearances and enthrall our customers. Through our free Netflix subscriptions, our customers can watch unlimited movies!
Jobs: Oops.. their price increase is going to drive your income statement further south!
Buffett: Mr.Obama, these are all brilliant schemes. But I only see expenses; I need some revenues to offset them too. You see.. there is something called “Profit”!
Jobs: Oh btw.. I forgot to tell you. We will be launching iPain 5 this year. The test group just loved it. We are expecting a big surge in our revenues which will directly flow through to our bottom line.
Buffett: You are my man. Hey.. tell you what! you should try to help Mr.Obama here to shore up his business. It is about time!
Obama: I am always ready for some good old bi-partisan talks!
Jobs: Don’t know about that. But I like to talk. Well, here is the deal. Our Customer satisfaction ratings have come down and we are short of new innovations. Too much torture is affecting their performance. So I propose “Hell”care. Every year, we can introduce a vacation package for our customers wherein they fly free to heaven. This way, we can tap heaven’s unexplored potential and at the same time leverage hell’s huge customer base. I am sure you can strike a sweet deal with the airline companies. They are bleeding to death anyways. Our customers will be more than willing to spend their hard earned money in your La La Land!
Obama: What about our customers? They would want to visit hell too.
Jobs: You still have customers! Kidding! Sure, why not! First 100 customers get free iPains.
Obama: Fantastic. I got my new ad campaign motto: “Welcome to Heaven - A gateway to Hell”.
Buffett: Now you are talking baby!