Technology? Amish? What does a guy with a jaw beard named Jebadiah know about technology? As bizarre as it sounds, the Amish are actually a powerful technology sales tool.
An interesting article in the New York Times points out that the success of Roll-n-Glow space heaters is due, in large part, to the involvement of the Amish. These pricey space heaters have the look and feel of a real fireplace, and the marketing blitz that highlights the Amish craftsmanship involved with each heater significantly increases the quality credibility. As it turns out, many of these marketing campaigns have been a bit on the shady side—making it appear that the entire unit was an Amish invention, crafted from start to finish using their skilled labour. In reality, they are only involved with the mantles.
Naturally, many have condemned Heat Surge, the company behind the Roll-n-Glow, claiming that they are exploiting a decent, God-fearing community. But one has to wonder—who is really being exploited here? The Amish are probably making a killing. The overwhelming success of this campaign has spawned imitators and put the Amish on the technology map. Perhaps Roll-n-Glo is just the first step in building an Amish technology empire. In the future we will all be clamoring to a press event held in a barn, where Jacob will deliver a keynote on a new hand-crafted line of wooden mobile phones that make crystal clear calls and protect us from Satan. [NYT]