Thursday, 05 January 2017 05:52

A Cab Company That Builds Websites? WTF Was I Just Dreaming?

cab company websites

I just woke up from a crazy dream.

It's one of those "work" dreams where you're mind is working overtime while you're sleeping and you wake up feeling like you just did a 10 hour day.

I was working for a cab company in Ann Arbor, MI. I guess the location was part of the dream because I know Ann Arbor so well, being raised there and all.

This cab company was much like a Kirby Vacuum company or a Cutco Knives door to door sales place.

The idea was for each "driver" to give free rides to old folks. During the cab ride, the Driver would try to sell the person on a personal website.

If the person bought the story and said yes, then the company would charge them for the website through cab fare at the end of the ride.

Later on, after the cab ride was over, the cab company would then contact the person and create a "custom" personal website for them.

I've been in the web world since 2005. I've pretty much seen it all. This cab company would just copy an existing website they'd created for someone else and change the name, photos and a few minor details, but in essence, it was the same site that they put up for everyone who got conned into purchasing.

It was a content duplication nightmare!

They even blocked search engines from the homepage in the robots.txt file for every site to try and avoid the duplicate content and spam issues (that doesn't work).

They told the customers that they could go in any time and change the content as they saw fit... for a price. The company wouldn't even give the customer login access. If the customer wanted changes, the cab company would do them all for $98 an hour.

This was the company I was working for in my dream.

Since I was well aquainted with how sites are built and what they can do, I was selling sites like hot cakes. On my first day, I sold three sites, and found out that they were paying a $2000 commission per site (Hey, it was just a dream). Over the next ten days, I had sold over 30 sites to cab customers, all of which were seniors looking for a "free cab ride".

The owner of the cab company flew in to meet with me and ask how I was doing it.

I told him that if he wanted to know my secret, He'd have to raise my commissions to $2500 per sale, retroactive. 

He finally agreed because he wanted to know what the secret was, so I took him out to my cab and showed him.

On the dashboard, there was the usual cab fare meter, but instead of using this to charge clients, we used them to show the clients how much they saved using our taxi service. On top of that, was the "secret sauce" so to speak... I had a scanner that I'd programmed with the frequencies used by competing cab companies. I'd listen to their radio chatter, and when they dispactched a driver for a pickup, I'd get there first and pick up their clients.

Once they were in the cab, selling them was easy because I knew web development and marketing so well.

The dream kind of fizzeled out at that point. I woke up feeling drained and exausted, and rather than toss and turn, decided to write about it here.

While I know it's just a dream, there are web companies out there that do prey on people. At work, I'm cleaning up the mess that one of my clients is in. The story is exactly the same, but they're in Physical Medicine and the company is exactly the cab company. Building cookie cutter websites for unsuspecting clients and charging them an arm and a leg for maintenance and extra services. 

I hate these kinds of dreams. I hate feeling tired. I'm going to try and go back to sleep.