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Gas Predictor is Planning to Publish Tomorrow's Diesel Fuel Prices
Background on our proposed DieselPredictor.com service.
We own the domain name, "dieselpredictor.com," and we intend to make use of it. For now, it is simply an "alias" for our main Web site, GasPredictor.com.
We have been collecting data on diesel fuel prices - futures, wholesale, and retail - for nearly as long as we have been publishing our gas price predictions. We have had some success in adjusting our gas prediction algorithm to the diesel fuel markets. Not too surprisingly, we have found some differences. We are working on refinements to try to make our diesel fuel price predictions as reliable as those for gasoline.
Before we take the plunge and start publishing our diesel price predictions, we need to do a bit or market research. Would it be worth our while? Maybe you can help by giving us a little feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's the thing. The consumer market for diesel fuel in the U.S. is much smaller than that for regular unleaded gasoline. It wouldn't pay us to go to all the trouble of marketing, producing, and distributing our diesel fuel predictions if we don't get enough subscribers. If the number of subscribers times the annual subscription price is less than the cost of our bulk e-mail delivery service for one year (yes, it costs money), we'd be losing money to deliver this information. Even if we made a little more than the costs, we would have to consider the value of the time we spend doing it. (Yes, it takes some of our time, and yes, our time is valuable to us. Yes, we're already spending time gathering and analyzing the data every day, but that's research and development, which is part of the cost of doing business. Our bean counters don't expect it to generate revenue until it becomes a shipping product.)
Anyway, all that leads to another "thing." The real market for this diesel fuel predictor is probably not the individual consumer, but the business user of diesel fuel. More particularly, it is the independent trucker and/or the small trucking company. If you are a gigantic trucking company, you're buying your fuel wholesale at negotiated prices and you don't care about the retail pump price of diesel fuel. Or if you're a small business that owns a truck or two and operating the trucks is not your main business, just incidental, you're pattern and plan for buying diesel fuel is really no different from that of the individual consumer, and the savings that you could realize from our predictions is small, and just incidental to your business.
But if you're an independent truck driver or a company that operates a small fleet of trucks for local delivery or long-distance hauling, your profits are a function of the retail price of diesel fuel. And you stand to gain a good deal by knowing what the retail price of diesel fuel is going to be tomorrow, and probably in several cities rather than in just one city.
For example, if you're passing through Indianapolis on I-70 in the evening on your way to Denver, it could save you sixty dollars for you to know that diesel fuel will be much cheaper in St. Louis than in Kansas City tomorrow morning. We could realistically save one truck over $200 in one week. Maybe we can't do that every week, but you get the idea.
So, this is what we're thinking our diesel predictor product should be:
Disclaimer: This Web site, and all of its predictions and prediction devices, are for educational and entertainment purposes only. We will not be responsible for incorrect predictions, or for any damage or losses you may incur as a result of using these predictions. While we believe that our prediction algorithm works, you must accept responsibility for your choice to use this information.