It seems fashionable to bash the big global brands like Amazon, Costa, McDonalds and so on. Regular screams for the castration of their leaders come riding on the back of accusations of tax avoidance and the like.
Rarely do I see any mention of the fact that these businesses employ thousands who pay taxes and spend their money to prop up our economy. No-one wants to mention the benefits that come to their customers in terms of convenience and access. They all provide a service and contribute to the countries that they operate in to some degree, but it is easier for the media, mainstream and social, to bash them. An irony that, especially when you read people using Facebook to do it when that is another of the brands that generates their ire.
A couple of thoughts on this from the perspective of an independent business man. Firstly I would say that about 90% of the meetings that other independents, and small businesses, have asked me to have been in Starbucks, Costa or Cafe Nero and lunches have generally been in KFC, Pret-a-Manger or one of the other big brand fast food outlets. We use them rather than pay for a meeting room at serviced accommodation or an hotel because we only pay for the food and drink. I have even seen job interviews taking place in these places. We use them because they give s what we need and don’t charge too much.
The other thought, here specifically about Amazon, is that a lot of people selling on Amazon are sole traders or small businesses. I fall into the former category and am very happy for Amazon, and for that matter eBay, to give me a global outlet for my wares and an easy way of extracting payment. They might be the scourge of the traditional High Street, but they prop up a lot of smaller traders and provide an entrepreneurial opportunity that was not there fifteen years or so ago.
Bash them if you want to, but they are succeeding because we use them and we do that because they help us to succeed.
I have a silly number of blogs and websites that exploded fifteen years or so ago when I went freelance. Over time a few have fallen by the wayside and this year I began a serious purge. Why? I am getting older and my life has changed a lot from those early days of being out from under the corporate umbrella. The world around me has changed too and current events will bring another step change; if nothing else they are giving me time to think. Continue reading
This was after the election before last, the one that saw us saddled with an ineffective coalition, and the remark in the title above was overheard on the ‘bus. It would be easy to disniss it as some casual racism from a couple of middle aged white men, for the pair whose conversation I was listening to fitted the bill in terms of skin colour and appearence, but there was more to it. Continue reading
The operation to transplant a penis has been in the news again recently, and I admit that the thought troubles be a little. Not that I am going to be in the market for any fresh trouser equipment you understand, but more as a general, if I can use the term, point. Continue reading
Do you remember watching the Berlin Wall as it was pushed over? Possibly you are too young, but got those of us who knew the Cold War period it was a symbol of hope that so many once proud nations could have the chance to escape from the tyranny of the old Soviet Bloc. But as we rejoiced at the scenes little did we know then that another dark force was gathering pace to subjugate all it could gobble up. Continue reading
The rise of the Trumpster on the politcal scene in the US has brought the inevitable blast of leftist outrage regarding much of what the man appears to stand for; racist, bigot, bully they scream, but maybe there is something that they are missing. Continue reading
It’s always nice when friends get something that they want, even if it is something that you wouldn’t want yourself, and that is how I feel about the Labour Party leadership erection (the malapropism is deliberate, for my feeling is that there has been a preponderance of posturing pricks, a sort of mini version of the general erection back in May when there were hundreds of them). Continue reading
With the Stoptober campaign approaching I thought that I would tell my own story of having stopped smoking in the month of October, albeit in my case it was thirty nine years ago. Continue reading
From all of those clamouring for more to be done for refugees and for governments to demonstrate humanity there is a marked lack of charity towards anyone who dares to show anything less than full agreement with their views. Continue reading
I was in a discussion with a fellow panellist last week on the subject of competition. My angle for the debate had been on purchasing and there were some striking differences between the approach a buyer would take to deciding who to appoint and the way my colleague on the panel would work in their specialism. Let me put it this way: Continue reading