The Cost Disease

In today’s post, we talk about an idea in economics called the Cost Disease and how it affects the prices of the things we buy. It’s an interesting idea which allows us to pick apart the FP industry and think about how it might change the industry in the future. 

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Social Norms and the FP Communities

Reading through some FP classifieds late last year, I came across one where things got a little heated. Only a little, but enough to catch my eye. It got me thinking about the two parts of our community, the old and the new, and how each has developed its own norms and behaviours, and what happens when these are forced to share the same space. In today’s post, we dig into social norms, the role that they play, and how they can sometimes create conflict in the community. 

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Merry Christmas

2016 has been a pretty wonderful year for me and I hope that it's been just as wonderful for all of you. I was able to travel and meet some really kind and interesting people, to celebrate the first anniversary of Fountain Pens Australia (FPA), to blog, and to make some serious progress in my professional work. There have been some challenges along the way but overall, I feel like this is a year in which a lot has been achieved and I'm proud of that.

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Precious Resin

One of the more perplexing things about our community is the lengths that some members will go to in order to support the firms which provide for us and sustain the hobby – the manufacturers, distributors, and retailers – but some of those very same members will dig the boot into one particular brand, Montblanc, without hesitation. Most experienced members of the community will have seen this special treatment and have their own views about whether it is justified, but it undoubtedly exists. And it's a problem: not because MB or any other brand should go uncriticised but because undeserved criticism distracts from criticism which is actually deserved and can help to make our community a better place. In today's essay, we'll explore one criticism that is utterly undeserved: that of Montblanc's 'precious resin'

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The Retail Aspiration

If you haven't had a chance yet, go and check out a video that Goulet Pens released last week which featured an interview between Brian Goulet and the co-founders of Nock Co, Brad Dowdy and Jeff Bruckwicki. It's an interesting look inside a growing business and, as the video was recorded a few months before it was released, viewers end up with some context around comments which were (intentionally) vague in the video. There's plenty of insights for the curious, but the one which struck me was that both the Nock guys seemed keen on transitioning to retail. For today's post, we'll have a look at the economics behind such a transition and why it's not more common. 

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