Refund rate history

There is a story behind this chart and its awkward shape.

I started this business while I was on a two-year-long business trip in Asia. I was very busy with my job, and with the ICDSoft startup, so I asked a local friend to help me with banking and cashing of checks. Each time a new customer was paying for hosting to ICDSoft, they were receiving an automated email from the payment processor stating that they successfully submitted a payment to someone with an obviously Asian name (my local friend). The related Asian country was mentioned in the notification as well. Most of my customers were Americans. Roughly 50% of them were making it quite clear that they did not like purchasing a service from someone outside the United States, and they were requesting refunds. This became a regular practice for me - 50% refund rate. I didn’t question it though, as it was a part of the service agreement. I knew that I had to build a name for ICDSoft first, before people started trusting the company. So after each and other sale, I was receiving an email from the customer either stating that they wanted their money back with no explanation, or shamelessly and rudely explaining why they wanted to undo this transaction. I was issuing refunds on daily basis.

Then what occurred was... September 11, 2001. There is absolutely no doubt that the events on this date are beyond tragic, and they caused a deep rift in our world. But these events also caused something else: a new phenomenon in the way my American customers reacted to supporting other economies. On September 12th 2001, new customers stopped asking for refunds. Instantly. They were suddenly okay with the fact that they had given their $60 USD to someone in Asia.

I hope that we humans will find a better way of resolving our differences with each other without need of such a violent wake-up call.

John Lennon best expressed it:

Imagine there's no countries

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion, too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace…


Is this really hard to achieve? We humans had the amazing opportunity to become the only intelligent species on planet Earth. Since learning a lot about outer space and this universe, we now know how lucky we were to be given such a big window of time with no substantial asteroid impact or other catastrophe to destroy us. We also know that our heyday will not last forever and we have a much longer road ahead in order to keep surviving—and that likely includes colonizing other planets. Our time is limited and instead of working hard together, we build walls, kill each other, and serve dictators and politicians who do not see further than the end of their own noses. In many countries, preaching hatred is forbidden by law and constitution. Aren’t promises to build walls and exclude certain groups of people examples of preaching hatred? They suggest that people still believe that walls and borders will protect them from evil and will make their life somehow brighter. But how? Inequality is the biggest evil on Earth. And inequality is the mother of another evil: lack of education. Lack of education creates even bigger inequality—creating a circle of evil continually feeding itself—but it also gives opportunity to con artists to lead others under masks of politicians, businessmen, prophets, and saviors.