Posted February 26, 2011 10:23 am by with 4 comments

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The other day I realized that most of you have never sent me any money. Well, I want to change that right this minute! Below is my PayPal address. Sent me as much money as you can to it as soon as you can.

Ok, cool. I am glad I got that out of the way. I can’t imagine how long we would go with out you sending me what I am entitled to. Oh wait, did I say entitled to? No, I meant to say deserve. No, actually that doesn’t make sense either, I mean I don’t really deserve a penny from you. I guess, I just want you to send it to me, because I like getting things for free, especially cash. I mean lets face it, we all like free stuff right?

On the Internet there is so much amazing free stuff that we are starting to feel entitled to it. even I am guilty of this. When I watch some of my favorite shows on Hulu I expect for them to load on time and play continuously with no stalling or interruption. And when they don’t, I am really ticked off. The thing is, this isn’t Hulu’s problem. Hulu doesn’t owe anything to me, and I am not entitled to any of those free shows. Hulu built an entire business around giving away free programing for advertisements. The only thing they are required to deliver is an audience for the companies that buy ad spots.

This week, we saw two incredible examples of assumed entitlement on the web. First with everyone’s favorite web comic The Oatmeal. Apparently, Mr. Oatmeal (Matthew Inman) had posted an older comic on his facebook page. One of his fans was disappointed that he didn’t post a new one, and began an argument with Inman via facebook message. In the end, Inman took a screen shot of the dialog and used it for his most recent comic.

Our second example comes from the infamous TechCrunch. Here we see an exchange with Robin Wauters and a PR professional that is angry that his client isn’t getting the type of coverage he thinks they should. TechCrunch is the type of coverage that every startup strives for. Here this PR professional made a pitch to one of TC writers. When he politely declined with an email response, the PR ‘pro’ got abrasive and started acting like a child that didn’t get what he wanted. I have sent numerous pitches to TechCrunch and not one has ever been picked up or responded to. And I am not alone, most that try to pitch them get nothing. It’s the way things work with a popular publication.

In both cases above we see folks who thought that because they woke up and turned on their computer that day, they were entitled to everything that was possible. We all should be grateful for all of the amazing things that we have. And remember that a large portion of the world is still not connected to the Internet.

Thinking about all this reminds me of one of my favorite comedians. So I am going to let him sum up the final thoughts on this one. Oh by the way, the email address above is real, but it isn’t connected to PayPal. I don’t really want you to send me money, because I am not entitled to it!

  • Wow. When one of my favorite web comics skipped a week and the artist felt bad, I was the guy telling him “thank you” for all the other comics. Then I wished him well and went on my way.

    Rejection, too, is a part of reaching out to people. Ambition is admirable but – as I learned all ways – a person needs to know who their best audience is. If your business offers nothing to a publication then find a publication who would be a better fit. (I used to make a party game out of being rejected at bars, then met my wife playing Dungeons & Dragons. Know your audience in ALL things.)

    I also liken your article to the majority of SEO industry. “But I waaaaaaannnnnnt the #1 spot forever and ever and ever!!!! Stupid evil Google!”

    I also have to ask: who is that comedian? My wife really enjoyed it and wanted to know. Thanks.

    • The comedian is the amazing Louis CK

  • Massimo

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  • Rebekah May

    Joe, thanks for posting that – it is not only hilarious but really does cause you to stop and think. Technology has increased so rapidly that it has caused this strange ownership mentality, and has contributed to a lot more inpatient people. Thinking about it – the technology gap is just so vast now – I mean, when I was a kid talking to my mom the biggest differences she would complain about is “oh we didn’t have color t.v.” or “oh we didn’t have microwaves”. Now I am thinking about all the things I would be telling my future children I never had as a kid – cell phones, laptops, Ipads, Hybrid cars, flat screened t.v’s, High def…its nuts!