[originally posted Sept. 29, 2009 rocksalt.livejournal.com]
So many businesses in Salem operate on hype alone.
Create a fancy looking product and sell ad-space on it. Create an event that no one really comes to and make money off charging vendors.
The products and events themselves are not successful. It's people trying to ride the coat-tails of a successful-looking business model and throwing all their money into it that make all the money for these greedy and manipulative entrepreneurs.
People see a snazzy image and think "If I stand next to this guy his fame will spill over onto me," but that is NOT the case. The fame and glamor is all an image.
As far as employees, these places have very high turnover rates because the people working for them get no business and don't make enough money, but the companies still exist. How? By selling ad-space and vendor space on the side! So, essentially, the people who are out there doing the REAL working are walking unpaid billboards and the management and owners are making all the money off people who want to slap their name on everything.