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Limiting the production of one of the most iconic swords in all of ASOIAF is a strange business model for a company exclusively dedicated to producing blades from ASOIAF. Eventually, they're going to run out of blades that people will purchase, and then what? Sell Hearteater, Widow's Wail, and Lion's Tooth in a Joffrey combo pack? Good grief.

I don't think anyone is purchasing these blades at a premium because they're limited; they're purchasing these blades at a premium because they're devoted fans. Even if increasing production reduces Valyrian Steel's prices, the untapped demand that they'll reach means that they’ll make more money from more customers, which should more than compensate them for any losses. In addition, as production expands, economies of scale expand along with it, creating cost advantages which would further compensate Valyrian Steel for any price reductions stemming from increased production. Right now Valyrian Steel's self-imposed shortages are leaving most of the market untapped, and they're making less money as a result. Does that make any sense?

The hallmark of a good policy is whether it takes account of the consequences which are unseen and unintended as well as those which are seen and intended. In this case, what is “seen and intended" are a few elated fans and customers - lucky enough to find Valyrian Steel at the right time - but what is “unseen and unintended" are all the many more disappointed, frustrated fans who would have been satisfied customers gone to waste. That's just bad business. Peter Drucker said that the sole purpose of any business is to create a customer (profits are simply a measure of how well the business is satisfying those customers), but by restricting production, Valyrian Steel is aborting untold numbers of customers. I would happily do business with Valyrian Steel for Ice - I would even consider paying more than they asked - but for whatever reason they have decided they don't want my money. Both sides lose.

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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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