Services are now Products

Posted On: Friday - April 26th 2019 7:19PM MST
In Topics: 
  Curmudgeonry  Big-Biz Stupidity

Yes, "Services" - that's right.

This is just a short post on a minor piece of stupidity that your Peak Stupidity blogger has noticed for quite some time now - 20 years possibly. It's mostly a Big-Biz thing, but I noticed small companies doing the same. I guess it's good to sound like one of the big boys in your "industry". I put "industry" in quotes, wondering, is much of the business that American corporations do in this day-and-age really industry? I suppose it could be anything involving work, but here's what duckduckgo comes up with first:
industry (ĭnˈdə-strē)
n. Commercial production and sale of goods.
n. A specific branch of manufacture and trade: the textile industry. See Synonyms at business.
n. The sector of an economy made up of manufacturing enterprises: government regulation of industry.
Yep, I was right. By this definition, it would not be correct to talk about the accounting industry, the tort law industry, or even the healthcare industry (unless the latter involved BUILDING hospitals). Peak Stupidity has erroneously used the term in discussing the F.I.R.E. "industries" (Finance, Iinsurance, Real Estate, although the "E" could also stand for Education).

This brings me to the point: Services that are called Products. Like I wrote above, it's been really bugging me. "We have a new life insurance product ..." Whaaa? All you're doing is shifting money around into different accounts. You are not producing a damn thing, you know that, don't you? We are providing a good learning product at Elm St. Elementary School, what with all the cutting out of paper stuff, the pasting of stuff back on, the 25 minute (NOT LONG ENOUGH) recess product, and pottery day." It may very well be a good school, and the teachers may be some of the best, but you're not making stuff. "It's the new IBM - we don't make computers, but we have our business consulting products and our support products. Regarding software, I suppose it can be considered a product - that (what used to be a floppy disk, then CD, then DVD) has your code on there. Your programmers produced that. Sure, I'll go for that.

It gets ridiculous, and I know the reader will start noticing this use of "product" meaning "service" business often. "Our product is a good customer experience!" No, dumbass, you are providing a service. There's nothing wrong with that. I believe that the leaders in these industries want to sound like those in manufacturing, as there is more respect for the manufacturing of STUFF. However, due to the American manufacturing base having been mostly shipped to China, there's not so much, so the service companies tell you about their products all the time. Meh!

This Ford Mustang IS a product:

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