Should I?

Subhapratik Nayak
May 11, 2018 · 5 min read

Because your no or a yes has a say with profound implications.

“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it”

-Chris Pine

Butterfly. What’s the first little image which bursts into to your mind when you think of these creatures? Beautiful, calm, soothing may be the adjectives that are popping up in your thoughts I presume? With their various varieties possessing colors ranging across all the spectrums, it isn’t hard to be awed by the surreal tranquillity of these pretty little creatures. With such an image of a butterfly clearly inscribed in your brain, would you believe me if I say, a butterfly can cause a hurricane? Well, Chaos Theory believes so and claims, a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico can cause a hurricane in China. Total fluff you may be thinking, but maybe, just maybe, even though the connection may be as faint as they come, a butterfly flapping its wings at the right point of space and time could have set up a series of events of culminating in a hurricane. In fact, the beauty of chaos theory lies in the fact that it does it doesn’t even discount the ramifications of displacing a single particle of sand, it accepts the high voluminous changes caused by the tiny perturbations in this highly connected network. In this world of webs and threads, no wonder much can be influenced by the little things we do.

Its imperative, thus we value every choice we make because the choices of today influence the alternatives of tomorrow. In our previous article, we touched upon the weight of a single choice and the value of economics as a tool to make better choices. Hence, it’s necessary to home in the lessons with succinct examples.

And who make better examples than us ourselves. Choosing the college to pursue your degree was one which may have sweated your eyebrows off, but this game doesn’t stop there. From deciding to go out to have a snack at snack shack to downing it all down, embracing the philosophy of Hakuna Matata in the erstwhile Hakuna Matata, college life possesses an array of hurdles and obstacles even an Olympic hurdler couldn’t deign to fathom. And many of these decisions are limited by two constraints, money and time. Even though the concepts of the economy can be applied to both, it would be prudent for me to make suggestions on time when the spirit of Manipal itself revels in the heroics of last-minute glory, which is 50 parts crazy, 50 parts intoxicating and 0 parts sensible.

Now that we have tidied up the realm which this discussion has chose to dwell in, let’s explore the nooks and crannies and understand its nuances, feeling up the delicate threads and attempting to connect the little to the much. It’s been mentioned a few times already, the cause driving our hand to choose between alternatives, is the finite entity called resource. And for a college student this resource, at least a major part of it, is constituted by “Pocket Money” which they receive from their homes, earning it through a rigorous entourage of sweet talk and promises, tempered with the undertones of flattery and emotional blackmail.

Money makes the world go around, they say. Maybe they are right, I say. And in a funny little exciting town as Manipal, this rings true. Haven’t you pondered over why movie theatres charge more or less the same ticket prices for popular movies as well as clunkers? Don’t you catch yourself and think about the differences in cost when you eat out at say, Saiba or Bacchus Inn or Eye of the Tiger or CoastAsia, places with the same underlying principle of fine dining, but with menu prices not matching in the slightest. Don’t you brandish the specifications of your redmi or one plus proudly while scoffing at the outlandish prices of a Samsung or an iPhone? I reckon its high time to make an attempt to understand the cogs of price disparity.

In case of movies, after the initial hurdles of production and release have been met, the cost of additional showings is relatively minute, namely, just theatre rental, and wages for box office clerks, projectionists, the ushers and the works. Hence for a popular movie, additional copies can be made, and multiple screenings can be arranged at minimal cost, accommodating large audiences, driving up the volume of ticket sales, hence generating far more revenue than hosting a limited number of screenings at premium prices. Sure, your blockbuster Hollywood movie will command a higher rate than your typical matinee regional but the price difference for both the movies at the same theatre will be far less than you would imagine it ought to be, but the difference in a number of shows for both will be clear.

Harkening to the second example cited above, it’s inherently similar in principle to the third, playing on the same fundamental principle of driving up revenue by focussing on higher volume rather than higher profit margins per product sold. Dollops plays on its image of being a student-friendly fine dine heaven and hence attracts a far greater crowd due to its budget-friendly prices. Whereas CoastAsia is pretty content to take a hit on its profits and just break even, or maybe incur a few losses to gain traction and place a foot in the lucrative fine dining behemoths of Manipal like Eye of the tiger, Ocean Pearl, Saiba and the likes.

This, in a nutshell, is the philosophy behind Chinese companies like Oneplus and Xiaomi which chose to release phones with amazing specifications at bargain prices compared to the traditional bigwigs. They strive to gain greater market share and improve brand recognition while saving on R&D by aping the tech behemoths.

You may be wondering then the wise choice always would be defaulting to the volume driven entity and often it is. The key to mastering college life is indeed making the most of the economical options out there and learning to capitalize on the steal deals. Learning the trends in restaurant businesses and the nature of tech wigs just aids you realize how you can derive the maximum utility from your money. Sometimes the savings may appear inconsequential, but even then, the value of every penny saved makes its presence felt on a rainy day. But then you may protest is it worth being a miser every single time? Well the answer would be, the premium choices do have their value which can’t be denied and more often than not cannot be put on paper because as the butterfly effects clearly showcases, every single decision has a say, and maybe the intangible benefit of paying a premium may perhaps make its presence felt in ways unforeseen. I mean, who can deny the clarity of the umpteen selfie posted on Instagram with a not so value for money iPhone X.

Economics and Finance Society of Manipal

The official Economics and Finance society at Manipal…