A life ordinary by Amit Sarkar - Issue #24

Hello friends,

Welcome to another late edition of my newsletter.

I have been playing a lot of chess lately. Ever since I bought a chess board from Morocco, I have wanted to improve my game. And the only way I can improve is by playing a lot of chess. I am still not very good and keep getting blindsided but I am getting there. If interested please join Lichess and play with me.

We also finished watching The Playlist show on Netflix. It's based on the book The Spotify Play. A very fascinating show, depicting the birth of Spotify which revolutionized the way we listen to music. There are many exciting bits you learn from the show. Spotify holds more than 700 patents and at one point in time owned utorrent. It was also built to replace The Pirate Bay for consumers.

I finally managed to watch Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at a cinema and boy was I impressed. The action sequences and the background score were epic. Had too much fun watching the film. The film introduces new characters to the story and a new civilization never seen before in Marvel films yet.

💲 Product pricing

With Black Friday coming soon this week. Every major retailer is trying to bombard us with as many discounted offers as possible.

But everyone wants to win during this period. The retailers who are trying to sell us their stuff and the consumers who want to buy this stuff.

But regardless of these sales, product pricing is one of the most important strategies when it comes to selling these products.

What would you buy? A product priced at

=> £3.77 or £3.99 - Unusual psychological pricing (focus on left)

=> £7.98 or £7.99 - 1 penny less (focus on left)

=> £9.99 or £10 - Charm pricing or Left Digit Effect

=> £19.99 vs £24.99 or £20 vs £25

=> £189.99 or 62% off £500 - Discount pricing (same price)

=> £699 or £880 or £1900 - Price anchoring (focus on middle)

=> £999 or £1000 - Odd-Even pricing (focus on left)

=> £497,500 or £500,000 - Left Digit Effect (focus on left)

=> Decoy pricing (focus on the last option)

  • Web-only for £59/year

  • Print-only for £125/year

  • Web and print for £125/year

=> “Buy one get one free,” or “50% off two items,” - Discount pricing (same price)

=> Price lining (each option suits a segment of consumers)

  • Consumer for £10

  • Professional for £100

  • Luxury for £1000

Odd-even pricing is a pricing strategy involving the last digit of a product or service price. Prices ending in an odd number, such as $1.99 or $78.25, use an odd pricing strategy, whereas prices ending in an even number, such as $200.00 or 18.50, use an even strategy.

Source - Shopify

Known as "charm prices," prices ending in 9, 99 or 95 make items appear cheaper than they really are. Since people read from left to right, they are more likely to register the first number and make an immediate conclusion as to whether the price is reasonable.

Source - CBS News

The left digit effect is when consumers put more emphasis on the first number than those that follow. Again, let’s deconstruct the difference between $4.99 vs. $5.00. The snap comparison is 4 vs 5, almost 1 dollar. Eventually, we’ll recognize this to only be a difference of 1 cent and not 1 dollar, but the anchor of that first interpretation leads to a subconscious bias on our decisions going forward (especially when we’re busy or tired).

🚗✈️ Seatbelts

Seatbelts are fundamental to our survival in both cars and flights. But more so in cars. And over the years seatbelts have become more and more advanced and help save millions of lives. And understanding how they work is crucial.

In the world of aviation, safety belts had been used almost from the very outset, mainly because the pilots of the very first flying machines otherwise risked falling out of their open cockpits.

In 1958 Volvo's efforts in creating an effective safety solution resulted in a patent application for Nils Bohlin's three-point safety belt. His design had four important properties: 1) The system consisted of a lap belt and a diagonal belt, 2) the belts were anchored at a low attachment point beside the seat, 3) the belt geometry formed a V shape with the point directed toward the floor and 4) the belt stayed in position and did not move in an impact.

Bohlin's belt was in fact an effective demonstration of geometrical perfection rather than a cutting-edge innovation. The solution and the benefits of the three-point design soon spread throughout the world as Volvo immediately made Bohlin's patent available to all car makers.

Source - Volvo Cars

Whereas the car seatbelt is used to prevent the passenger from moving forwards, the aircraft seatbelt is used to prevent the passenger from moving up and down.

Amsafe is the world leader in aviation restraints and their best design comes with a 16g buckle, which is very very light.

🏃🗑️ Plogging

Stockholm Sweden became the first city to host an organized “Plogga” in 2016. This event combined a jog, jogga in Swedish, with picking up litter, plocka up. Plogga is an association and popular movement where the activity itself is about picking up rubbish while jogging. It is also just as easy to walk, skateboard, cycle, swim or other. Plogging is a change of attitude and plowers are proud garbage collectors who do something for our environment and health before it is too late.

This is such a great initiative which I recently found out about.

If every one of us can take care of our own trash then the world would be such a nicer and cleaner place.

Cleaning our neighbourhoods need not be a chore.

One does not necessarily have to run or jog - plogging can be done walking down the street, on the golf course, biking, paddle boarding, swimming or wherever you are

🎙️ Podcast

I also heard an episode on Muhammad Ali Jinnah from the podcast Empire by William Dalrymple & Anita Anand. A friend of mine recommended this podcast so I decided to listen to one random episode.

The reason I chose this episode is that I wanted to learn more about the man who played a pivotal role in the creation of Pakistan. I am currently working with my team who are based out of Karachi and it intrigues me to learn more and more about their culture from their point of view rather than from the media.

Jinnah was a fine speaker, a lawyer and even an actor. He was a secular Muslim from the Shia Khoja community. He never wanted to mix religion with politics and believed all religions could co-exist under one nation.

He gets worried that in a nation that is going to be dominated by Hindus after independence what happens to the rights of the minority religions. So the whole point of Muslim League and creation of Pakistan was to protect the minorities.

His vision for Pakistan was a nation where Hindus and Sikhs can live and practice their own faith. And he believed religion had nothing to do with the buisness of the state.

The name of Pakistan was coined in 1933 by Choudhry Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan Movement activist, who published it in a pamphlet Now or Never, using it as an acronym to refer to the names of the five northern regions of the British Raj: Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh, and Baluchistan.

Thank you so much once again for reading my newsletter this week. Please feel free to Buy me a coffee if you are enjoying what I am sharing.

Until we meet again next week, go shopping, stay warm, drink lots of hot drinks and binge-watch many TV series.

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