I Hope to Someday Own a Monopoly

I Hope to Someday Own a Monopoly


I started my evening today with a little light reading – the
Telecommunications Act of 1996. Previous to delving into the actual text, I
perused the Wikipedia article[1] and would like to briefly touch upon
some thoughts.

My Reason for Working
I work solely for my own gain. I really don’t care at all if what
I do helps somebody else or not; I only care if the work is
financially profitable for me or not. I do not expect any handouts
or unsolicited help from anybody, and I do not give these things
either. I do not ask for the fruits of another man’s labor, I
purchase the fruits of his labor with the fruit of my labor.

I grew up hearing the mantra “Work hard, play hard” constantly
from my father. I also always heard my father say “You are going
to work every moment of every day of your life, so you are either
going to work for your family for free, or you will work for
somebody else for pay.” I have not yet found a possible third
outcome to my days – I am either working for my family for free
around the house, or I am working for somebody else for pay.

To that end, at some point in my future, I fully intend on owning
a business that completely disrupts at least one industry. In that
business, I intend to make as much profit as possible. I use the
words “own”, “make”, and “profit” explicitly for the connotations
that they possess; “Own” is for the fact that _my_ business
will be the fruit of _my_ labor, and exist solely for _my_
benefit. “Make” is used because my business will create its worth,
instead of leeching off of the success of others as a parasite. I use
“profit” because profit alone is what will drive my business. I, and
by extension my business, will not allow anything to stand in our way;
We will overcome, sidestep, or ignore any obstacle, any person, any
law that gets in-between me and my profit. The fruit of my labor is
mine and mine alone – To do with what I, and I alone, will.

Everything that I have read where the view that monopolies are bad
is held, has used the argument that monopolies are bad because
they hurt the consumer. This belief holds that a monopoly can
charge a higher price than is fair for a good or service, and that
a monopoly no longer has to be efficient as they can directly
influence supply levels.

This is a crock of shit. If there is only one company that makes a
particular good, or provides a particular service, consumers
always have the option of “voting with their dollars.” If a good
or service is over priced, then the market is ripe for a competing
business to undercut the incumbent and disrupt the industry. If a
company no longer has any incentive to be efficient, again, the
market is ripe for a competitor to spring up and drive

All arguments for the viewpoint of monopolies being bad however
are based on the assumption that the business exists only to
provide a good or service as cheaply as possible to the consumer
base. This is simply not true; a business should exist fore the
sole purpose of squeezing every cent of profit possible out of the
consumer base. It is for exactly that reason that I strive to
somebody own a monopoly – that is where the profits are the

Jiving with the FOSS Ideals
I did struggle for some time making this belief jive with my
wholehearted belief in free-as-in-freedom software. I have found a
way to rationalize believing in completely free and unrestricted
capitalism with free software in my own mind. Using very
permissive licensing, such as the MIT or LGPL licensing, it
possible to make these two ideals mesh. A permissive licensing
scheme allows each consumer who legally obtains the good (or code,
or application, or program) in some manner to do whatever they
wish with the good that they have obtained. This extremely
permissive scheme is the exact mechanism that drives
competition. If I have a customer purchase a software library from
me, and then start re-selling modified versions, by the virtue of
making as much profit as possible, I am incentivized to make my
library better, cheaper, something in order to get consumers to
“vote with their dollars” for my product over my competitor’s. I
don’t believe that a restrictive copyleft license, such as the
GPL, allows a free market to flourish. I hold the belief that for
the reasoning outline above, such a licensing scheme stagnates the
market. I would be very interested in hearing other opinions on
this point however. You cannot learn unless your current beliefs
are challenged.

I sincerely hope that I someday earn the opportunity to practice
what I preach (running my own business). I also hope that when I
reflect on my life in my last seconds, that I can be look back
without regret and know that I always acted in line with my
ethics. I recognize the inherent selfishness in my beliefs and I
contend that nobody and nothing other than myself (and those that
I hold dear) should matter to me. These are my beliefs, and you
are welcome and encouraged to disagree with them and hold your own
beliefs. Just please do not attempt to force-feed your beliefs to
me; I will however entertain civil discussion.

[0] http://transition.fcc.gov/Reports/tcom1996.txt
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_Act_of_1996

Why Don’t Shipping Companies Have Better Delivery Estimates?

1. This post is based on my last experience with UPS, but I am
sure that it applies to other shipping/delivery companies as
2. I really like UPS and will continue to use them – this post is
not intended as a bash on an otherwise decent company.
3. I don’t know what kind of logistical data UPS keeps/has. Below
follows from only my own suppositions.

The data is already there
It is probably safe to assume that UPS knows exactly which
packages are on which truck, the route that each truck is to take,
and expected route start and end times. It is also probably safe
to assume that the current location of each truck is easily
discernable. If each truck is not explicitly tracked by GPS, then
by keeping track of when each package is delivered a reasonable
location can be inferred. Combine these data with traffic data
from Google and it would be fairly straight forward to give a very
precise delivery time estimate.

So why don’t they do it already?
I can see already that this might be a gray area in the Google
Maps API ToS. I see in them that there is a distinction of Google
Maps API for Business and the normal API. From what my cursory
read-through uncovered, since I can track any UPS package without
needing to login or be behind a paywall, it would seem that the
normal API could be used. If I were making this service, I would
still have a lawyer check out my reasoning. So maybe the cost of
realtime traffic data is prohibitive. The service that I am
proposing is still technologically viable because traffic data was
just icing on the cake – without it, a reasonable 10min delivery
window could still be generated.

Also, just the sheer volume of packages handled by UPS each day
might make this service very resource heavy. I will argue though
that if UPS can handle those logistics internally, it shouldn’t be
too difficult to present those logistics externally.

Or maybe there isn’t enough monetary value in this to make it

Wouldn’t this be an awesome project to work on?
I think that this would be an awesome project to work on. Every
single person that ships a package sits there at their computer
clicking and clicking the refresh button on the tracking page. If
this service was implemented, they could go the the tracking site
once and see that their package would arrive “between 9:30AM –
9:40AM Tomorrow.”
Even from a technological view this project would be amazing –
Real-time data analysis and visualization. A public facing API
could be built and then there could be smartphone apps that alert
you when the truck that your package is on is at your house (or
inadvertently delayed) so you could rest easy knowing that your
package is on its way.

Closing Note:
I would drop everything to work on this project – I mean that. If
there is a shipping/delivery company that wants to build something
like this, I would absolutely love to work on it. I could see this
service being a good threshold for a consumer shipping company to
get into time sensitive deliveries. I could also see this being a
semi-passive income site that acts as a third-party package
tracking service.