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Ask HN: Is Google playing the Walmart game?
7 points by mahesh_rm on Nov 23, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 4 comments
This just popped up on my reddit feed:


I am genuinely curious to find out what everyday product and marketing people on HN may think concerning the relation between this and the Nexus 4 launch by Google.

Some comments on Reddit and YT mention how Walmart policy seems to encourage this kind of behavior.

In fact, Psychology of SOLD OUT rarely fails. Do you think spending time hitting F5 on the Nexus4 release made you somehow similar to one of those fighters?

Does HN really think the aurea of cumbersomeness surrounding first sells of the Nexus lineup effectively reveals Google load balancing inefficiency?

It's mostly just a side effect of just-in-time delivery. Modern businesses don't want to risk having too much inventory, so they instead end up having too little. I'm sure they don't mind the extra publicity gained from a sold-out product, but that's such a common occurrence these days that its bound to start losing its effectiveness.

Also, comparing someone who obsessively checks a website to see if an item is in stock to a person who physically assaults someone in order to save a few bucks is really ridiculous. No, they aren't in any way similar.

Another thing to consider is how quickly Google got the Nexus 10 tablets back in stock. The 16 Gig model was only sold out for about a day. The 32 Gig model was out of stock for several days, but now they are back in. I think that Google is working as hard as they can, its just that the number of people willing to shell out the money for a smartphone is significantly higher than the amount of people who are ready to drop 400-500 on a device that they may not need as badly.

I don't think Google plays the Walmart game, at least not consciously. A new Nexus phone is a buzz enough on its own. What is worth considering is the unusually low price for a new flagship product, which I believe easily doubled the demand. I suspect a logistical issue of some sort; maybe 3rd party related.

The Black Friday comparison is a stretch, but one can see a resemblance in spirit. Put all those F5's in one room with a pile of Nexus 4's and, changes are, you will see some action.

I don't really buy it. It's been ten days and they still aren't taking orders? Wouldn't they be missing out on the Christmas rush by doing this?

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