#SoG139 - Support an Indie!

Support an Indie! (#SoG139)

This is going to be a preachy one. Read at peril.

You've seen You've Got Mail? The rom-com featuring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks? Tom owns this large bookstore chain, Fox Books. Meg owns a tiny, indie, cosy book shop, The Shop Around The Corner. While they exchange emails with each other and fall in love, as a side plot, the large Fox Books eats the Shop Around The Corner. Of course, its a rom-com and as the film ends, the two of them get together and you go back home, all gooey and mushy and all that. What you forget is that tiny little neighbourhood shop that's always been around had to shut down.



Fast forward to today.
Amazon is eating all the bookstores - small or big. Starbucks and CCD and others are eating away those neighbourhood cafes. Large businesses are eating the small. There are smaller businesses that are trying hard to survive but things look bleak and in the Reliance Jio world, everything small seems to be getting gobbled!

That's not the point.
Point is, the indies need you!
And that is what my rant for the Saturday is. The inspiration came from this tweet.

I recommend that you support the indies.
You must give your business (things you buy - what you eat, how you entertain yourself, what you wear) to the indies.

What is an Indie?
Independent.
Started with music, refers to businesses that work without any large source of funding - corporate, governmental or others (and thus is typically small, operates in a niche, has smaller players, exists on the fringes). And because you don't have any backing per se, you are made to innovate and look at alternatives while you do your work. They often have day jobs that make money for them and then they use the money made from their day jobs to work on their art! Remember the Sex and Cash Theory?

And that is the reason why you must support them!

Where do you find these Indies?
Start with your second-degree connections. Your friends, neighbours, friends of friends, acquaintances, alumni from your college and so on and so forth. People who are within two degrees of separation to you. These are the people who would need more help than a McDonalds, Amazon, Nike, WeWork. Ogilvy etc.

While an Ogilvy will offer you great reliability and gorgeous ideas and all that and you would happily pay them a bomb to do great things. But the money they make will go to some nameless, faceless organization somewhere. On the other hand, if you commission a friend of a friend, you may feel stupid about giving money to someone you know and have known, it will still go to an individual who's trying to break the shackles and find their way in the world. And your small contract may just give them that leash!

Same goes for a restaurant. Rather than an McD, try to order from that new small restaurant. Instead of watching a film by a Karan Johar, go see a film made by an aspiring director. Goto gigs by new standup comics. Try those home-cooks. Buy tees from friends that are painting them by hand. At your next office party, invite that friend that can sing reasonably well. Get your corporate AV written by that neighbour that's trying to be a writer! You get the drift?

Oh, if you have a friend that writes, do NOT ask for a free copy.
Rather, buy 10 and give it to others and make them read. When #tnks came out, Aashna and Vivek did the same. Maybe others did that too but I know of just these two. That is supporting an indie.

That's it for the day!

Thank you for reading,
@saurabh
Subscribe to these letters at http://bit.ly/SoG2019.
Enjoyed reading this letter? Forward to a friend and help them get better.
Previous letters are archived here and here.

Tags: Artists, Support, Business, 6-degree of separation, Indie.

Streak: 3

Notes
1. As a matter of policy, I try and give all my work to people that are still young and are passionate. In fact, as I get ahead in life and move towards financial independence, I want to support indies and give them platforms to perform and thrive.

2. Not to be confused by Swadeshi movement.

3. This series of letters is an attempt to go indie. To be able to use my time to write and not try to earn my bread. Support me. Share this with others and let them subscribe if they like what they read. Thank you!

Quotes of the day
"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimension" - Anon.