To: Ambrose K. (King) Minos
Chief Executive Officer – Crete Corp
From: Stephen Daedalus
Chief Innovation Officer – Crete Corp
Re: The Minotaur Doesn’t Scale
I wanted to take a moment to recap the results of the SWOT analysis conducted at our recent leadership retreat at the Mount Olympus Country Club and Javelin Hurling Center.
Our labyrinth remains the category leader. When it comes to mazes for people to wander endlessly before starving to death (presuming they’re not first killed by the minotaur), we can’t be beat.
Consumer analytics also consistently puts our minotaur at number one in top-of-mind scores when it comes to human-animal hybrids. This is likely because there is only one half man/half bull creature in the known world, but even so, our market penetration for consumer awareness outpaces nearest competitor Aegeus’s part human/part goat Satyr by a nine to one margin.
To put this in context, this is superior to Uber’s position v. Lyft.
Our earlier concerns about possible market share encroachment by Lycia Inc.’s Chimera have proven unfounded. Consumers seem to be turned off by hybrids that combine multiple beasts and are therefore absent that all-important “human element.”
Additionally, informant reports from inside Lycia Inc.’s research and development lab indicate that as of yet, they cannot figure out how to get the Chimera’s lion head and dragon head to stop trying to rend the flesh from each other.
All things considered, in today’s dynamic business climate, it is better to have a minotaur than to not have a minotaur, and Crete Corp has the only minotaur.
Even with all of our efforts, it appears that the minotaur does not scale. Our original goal of putting a maze and a minotaur in every home is somewhere between unlikely and impossible.
We have tried recreating the circumstances of the minotaur’s creation – as you well know, the minotaur is the byproduct of your (ex) wife Pasiphaë’s affair with the enchanted white bull of Poseidon – but now that Poseidon’s spell compelling Mrs. Minos to fall in love with the bull has passed, we have had little success enjoining subsequent couplings.
Mrs. Minos remarked that “there’s not enough coins in the kingdom to do that again!”
Replicating additional minotaurs from sample DNA has proved difficult, as anyone who approaches the minotaur with one of those cheek swabs is swiftly disemboweled.
(None of the blood sampled from the labyrinth floor seems to belong to the minotaur.)
More troubling, OSHA-related payouts for these on-the-job casualties have already upped our workman’s compensation insurance premiums to nearly unsustainable levels.
The deaths have also been detrimental to company morale. This is likely the cause of our recent upticks in absenteeism and attrition as well. It would be nice to reassure employees that when they come to work, they do not run the risk of experiencing the indescribable pain and torture of being run through by a terrifying half-man/half-bull.
The arrival of our new ergonomic Herman Miller Aeron chairs for all employees above minion level should help on this front as well.
Fortunately, our chief weakness is also our greatest opportunity. We believe Crete Corp should pivot to present our minotaur and maze through the lens of exclusivity.
It appears that income for the top 1% and .1% of earners will continue to increase, even as the median wage stagnates. To survive, more and more products will need to appeal to these elite markets.
There is only one minotaur and one maze and they belong to Crete Corp for all the ages. Access to the minotaur and maze will now be reserved for the fortunate few, and those few appear willing to pay a fortune.
We quadrupled ticket prices for this year’s sacrifice of the seven Athenian youths and seven Athenian maids and still sold out in record time. Current resale on the secondary ticketing market suggests we could double or quadruple prices again and still be filled to capacity.
We are also currently fielding inquiries for advertising on the labyrinth walls from luxury brands such as: Jaguar, Viking Riverboat Cruises, Rolex, and Louis Vuitton.
As the minotaur’s impending victims wander towards their deaths, they will be surrounded by luxury and style, creating a brand halo effect that benefits Crete Corp.
We believe the threat is small, but our maze maintenance team posits it may be possible to successfully navigate the labyrinth by relying on a string that is unspooled as one goes deeper into the maze’s interior. While unlikely, a clever warrior armed with his father’s sword could, in theory, make his way through the maze, kill the minotaur, and free the youths and maidens.
However, as of this moment, this knowledge appears to be strictly in-house, known only to you, maintenance, myself, and Crete Corp V.P. Ariadne Minos, aka, your daughter.
One can never count out the sudden interventions of the Gods, but we’re confident that this close-held information will remain as such and therefore be little threat to the ongoing growth of Crete Corp.