Big Fish, Small Fish

In the decade of social networking and on-demand living, some businesses may still be suffering, while others find new goals to achieve.

The proverb ‘big fish eats small fish‘ is becoming more relevant than ever. When large organizations go global, they unknowingly wipe out some local businesses in both, their home country and abroad.

 

Who is affected?

Everyone.

From your local farmer’s market, to that indie bookstore around the corner, or perhaps even your neighbor who is a freelancer, or your friend who is a full-time Youtuber.

 

Why are they affected?

When big businesses get bigger, they can easily meet economies of scale  – which means they can produce more for less, which in return translates to better profit margins with reduced prices.

What’s in the mind of an average consumer? Obviously, getting the better deal. Big companies have a quality standard they commit to and if the average consumer can get same (or higher) quality than the local produce at a lower (or same) price, they will take it.

Then what happens if that single average consumer was one of the twenty people who visits (for example) a local flower shop (a small startup)? The shop would see a drop in sales, but it would be slightly recoverable. But if more and more consumers shift, the shop would see a drastic decline in sales, while their expenses remain same (or increase), they are likely to close the shop sooner or later.

 

From experience, I saw two drastic changes around me, that made me write this post.

YouTube: I follow several Youtubers who make content full-time and all what they get is earnings from YouTube Monetization. Last month, they were pledging against the “New Monetization Rules“. I looked those up, and watched their videos where they explained how it would effect them. Basically, YouTube made Monetization only available to the ‘almost popular to very popular’ content creators, while everyone else is left to lick their dust.

Goodreads: This site is great for authors and readers alike, where they can converge and discuss books they like. Recently, as a newly turned author, I posted a giveaway for my book in January. While NetGalley is another great site for having your book available tp readers; but as their packages start from +$200, I decided to stick with Goodreads. Soon enough, Goodreads announced a change in their Giveaway policies. With the newly added price tag of giveaway packages starting from +$120, self-published authors like me and other small publishers, would think twice now to host giveaways.

 

In short.

Big Fish (companies) have money to make huge investments and also to recover lost sales or expenses. Small Fish (local startups, freelancers, etc.) have limited cash and a regular expense, and so they depend highly on those possibly limited sales.

 

How can you, a consumer, help?

All I can say is support local businesses whenever you can. Most times you might not like the quality or the price, but local businesses (artists, freelancers, authors, etc.) are willing to take one extra step for their local clients in the form of unique products, special customer service, or even discounts. Their earnings are often reinvested to provide better product/service, or used as their living expenses. In both cases, it provides an overall benefit to the local society.

 

🙂 FTK

 

Photo Credit: Visual Hunt.com

Herding Cats: Featured Review

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I’ve been a big fan of Sarah’s Scribbles. This book was no different. It had the humor and it was very relateable.

We get to see ‘Sarah’- the girl with messy hair and big eyes in situations we have found ourselves in more than we would like to admit.

Andersen’s art is just adorable. the comic panels are clean and to the point, and it is a quick read while still being entertaining.

 

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars (I expected more cat-related comics given the title.)

**I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

 

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses: Review

Wow this book!16096824
This is the first I’ve read from Sarah J Mass, and i’m happy i read it.
The story is medium to fast paced, without ever dragging or cutting out on descriptions.

ACOTAR is loosely based on The Beauty and The Beast, set in a faerie realm. However, the main story soon unfolds, and you realize this is much more than simple ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
The character were developed as much is necessary, and when the ‘evil’ character came into view, you’d truly hate them with all your heart. Some other characters were complex characters whom you weren’t sure to like or not.

As for the main characters, Feyre and Tamlin, were perfect, in my opinion [Edit: future-me disagrees with this statement], I started to care for them from the first chapter they were introduced. (but i’m looking for more attachment from a reader-to-character standpoint in the future books)
The ending is complete in its own way, I was satisfied with it, even if I wasn’t going to read the sequels.

I am looking forward to continue the series and eagerly waiting for the next book to arrive.

Overall: 4.5/5

Travel Tips 101

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” -Agustine of Hippo

 

Once I was an unplanned traveler, but never again. As I’m becoming more and more of a frequent flyer, whether it’s for business or vacation, here are my essentials.

 

Preparing

  1. Know about the city. It doesn’t hurt to read a bit on the nuances, mannerisms, and do’s-don’ts of the place you are about to go to, especially if the culture is very different than what you are accustomed to. Also, watching the local news of that city is helpful.
  2. Check out the surrounding area of the place you would be staying at. Trust me, Google Maps will be your best friend.
  3. Keep a small journal to jot down small details about anything from currency exchange rates to the weather report, power outlet types, emergency contact numbers, etc.

 

Packing

  1. Make a list of the outfits you plan to wear. I also like to pack an extra spare outfit.
  2. Travel kits are always handy.
  3. Basic first-aid kit is a must, because accidents can happen.
  4. Keep a spare padlock and a universal power adapter in your carry-on luggage.
  5. If you are carrying cash, it’s better to distribute it in different bags as smaller amounts.
  6. If you are carrying a card, have a spare with you, in case it gets denied.
  7. Makeup essentials, a tiny perfume bottle, and facial wipes, to freshen up upon landing.
  8. Make sure you have all documents, passport, etc. and carry extra copies of them as well.
  9. I usually throw-in a book, because you never know what movies they have on the flight.

 

Upon Arriving

  1. Keep few hours spare on your first day upon arriving. Get to know the people and the area. For example, if the people have dinner by 7 pm, it is likely that most diners would be closed by 9 pm. Change your itinerary accordingly. If you are there for business purposes, keep margin for traffic, it wouldn’t be nice to arrive late.
  2. Also, find out about cheaper modes of transport. When travelling in a taxi, Uber, etc, check on the child-lock prior to sitting in the car.
  3. Deposit your important documents in a safety-box (if the hotel has provided it), and lock your luggage whenever you leave the room.

 


That’s it for my essentials (for the time being, I’ll add to it if more come to mind.)

Special thanks to Ahmed, Suaad, and Leena for contributing to this post.

 

Photo Credit: Visual Hunt .com

 

🙂 FTK

Daughter of the Pirate King: Review

A pirate book with a main character described as “a female Jack Sparrow”? C’mon, I had to read this one eventually.

The plot is quite simple. The Daughter of the Pirate King stages her kidnapping to get a piece of the map that will lead the pirate king to -yes, you guessed it- an island of unimaginable treasures. Plot Twist? It’s also the land where Sirens -who lure men to sea by their magical singing voice- live.

While the storyline was generally predictable, with some plot twists here and there, but it was nothing too dramatic, it was the characters that pulled the plot along.

Alosa, the Daughter of the Pirate King is witty, smart and strong. While she is a pirate, she is also a girl, who cares about her dresses and looks. She was a unique character, but too good to be relatable.

On the other hand, Riden, First mate of Enemy Ship and Alosa’s Captor, is very much the traditional YA-appeal guy, with good looks and smart brains. Though, I felt he was had less characterization, and pretty much got overshadowed by Alosa’s character.

The story is told in first narrative by Alosa, and it is fast-paced. There was not much world-building and we didn’t get to see what the other character’s lives are like, especially Alosa’s Crew, whom I would have liked to read about more.
Nevertheless, it was a quick read that I enjoyed.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Looking forward to reading book 2.