This week, I read about Uber's co-founder Garrett Camp reportedly paying $72.5 million for a mansion in the 90210, a record high for Beverly Hills real estate.
Wait, wasn't it only months ago that Uber went public with their IPO, stating that the company "may not achieve profitability"? In fact, revenues surged last year by more than 40% to $11.3 billion, but somehow Uber actually lost $1.8 billion (yes, 1.8 BILLION DOLLARS) in 2018 (reference).
Straight up: I don't understand these economics.
There is work being done, and someone is being rewarded financially, but where is the money coming from? And are the right people getting paid the right amount? And, if the service is of value to people, why are they not paying the amount for the service that is necessary for it to thrive? Or, is the money getting lost somewhere along the way? So many questions!
I don't know if I will receive a satisfactory answer to this (apparently) problematic model, but what is has done is reaffirmed my confidence in how we do things here at dignify.
At dignify, we have a product: kantha blankets. The product is good (we think, and thousands of blankets & happy customers later, it seems you agree!).
We buy the quality product from a reliable, trustworthy source, at a price that we have agreed upon. We've determined that the set price is reasonable to compare with global offerings and customer value. Then, dignify prices & sells the product directly to interested customers.
The price we (dignify) set for our kantha blankets is a number set to pay the bills, enable our ability to grow, and to turn a profit. In short: to sustain continuing business. Most businesses need to create a business model that allows for a consistent profitability, since few entrepreneurs are able to put their business on the stock market and make money from perceived value (rather than actual value).
There's nothing "old fashioned" about an internet shop where I don't see customers' faces. There is no Open/Closed sign, and what passes in & out of our office most frequently are 1s and 0s. But, the old fashioned model of have-a-thing-and-sell-it-for-a-price-and-make-money is one in which I am happy & proud to participate.
A little behind-the-scenes insight here...
As a store owner, there are loads of resources out in the wilds of the internet, ostensibly to help me succeed in my business. Did you know that I start hearing about Black Friday (as in "are you prepared to break through on Black Friday?") in the summer?
It is SO EASY to find ourselves as consumers in the maelstrom of other people's (and corporations') marketing efforts, and not even remember how we got there, or even notice these (very intentional) forces working away on us.
Here are some actions we can take now to simplify the noise before the noisiest time of the shopping year: —
I shared on Instagram recently a post that Gretchen Rubin had written (taking concepts from her book, The Happiness Project), entitled,
I've written a lot over the years about spending wisely, thoughtfully, holding back, slowing down, and really considering, "Do I want to spend money on this [insert item, service, etc. here]?" I still think that this line of thinking is crucial — a necessary counter to the bombardment of our culture towards buy-buy-buy.
But, Gretchen was tackling the question from a different angle: yes, being thoughtful; but, actually with a focus on the positives of actually spending the money.
7 years after starting dignify... I have booked a trip to travel to Bangladesh for the first time. I am excited & apprehensive, and while I won't be public about dates (it is sometime in the coming 6 months), I want to share some details of the journey (and my process of getting this trip going) with you.