I was going to write some stuff about the defines of piracy and its application to the average PvPer in low sec. I was also thinking about writing a general dally of living in low sec. I may do those things later or never. For now, I am going to ride a wave of my own frustration.
This is just a rant.
Frustration is a fantastic motivator when it can be directed. It is a rather consumptive emotion but it can be used productively as well.
I feel that, in general, I'm open to ideas and thoughts. Of course many close minded people say this so I must accept the fact that I am completely wrong on that topic. Sometimes, I'll argue. Sometimes, I'll try things out. Sometimes, I've tried things and they do not work for me. It is frustrating to find yourself facing a hurdle that others can jump over. This happens to me quite often in Eve. Other's seem to achieve things that I can not even reach for, much less debate achieving. A lot of that comes from the nature of the game itself. There is a lot of things to do and a lot of things that fit various personalities and mental abilities.
I receive a lot of interaction about the Cougar Store. It is one of my more successful products or things in Eve. I didn't expect that when I started it. In fact, I for the most part, expected people to laugh and dismiss my market efforts as they had my salvaging and other fledgling adventures. But, there is a stubborn core to me. One that, when faced with something I want, I'll keep trying at it. I'll accept that I am doing it wrong. I will accept that I am doing it sub-optimally. I will accept that there are 'better' things to do with my time then what I want to do with it when time is defined by what other people have defined it as.
In all of my discussions and points and ideas, hopes, successes, and failures with building and running my low sec market project, I find that I often find myself repeating myself and my goals. My entire goal and focus is to bring a functioning market to low sec. My want is to bring reasonable prices to that market.
To do that, I have taken to running the market on my own. I haul my goods. I stock them. I do buys. Sometimes I move around to buy things. I trim costs wherever I can. My satisfaction in the project and my enjoyment comes in watching the items sell and seeing people come back time and time again to fit their ships. I may be absorbed by my own ego and feeding off of a narcissistic focus at the success of it. I become offended by people who attempt to damage my market. I spend a lot of time running around, keeping things stocked, and trying to manage it.
I enjoy it. I enjoy it a lot. I bite back the gibbering excited babble about my stock, and my items, and sales, and buys. I am gleeful when prices drop and I feel guilt when they spike. I've learned a lot about expansions and the market. I've learned that caring is hard in an area of the game where few others do.
TCS is a bit strange because it is a social project of my own making and motivation. No one else is forcing me to do it. Most will never know that I am doing it. For people who visit the region, Bosena is stocked by someone(s). I've even had someone say they will not visit because I won't let myself be ransomed. Other's may avoid it because they know it is stocked by a pirate. I don't know. In a way, I don't care. The Bosena market is a representation fo the fucks I give about low sec. That is why it is a community project. It isn't about Sugar Kyle and her wallet through marketing, its about trying to fill a dry pool and turn it into an oasis.
I'm not a good business owner. I'm terrible at it. I'm not a number cruncher. I can't tell you what my margins are except vaguely. I couldn't tell Detta how much TCS makes in a month. I have no idea of it. I do my own hauling, not because I believe my time is free but because I am comfortable selling my time for the profit that TCS makes. I am comfortable with spending my time for nothing more then the glowing satisfaction of TCS being successful.
When I started TCS, I spent some time learning basic economics because I felt guilty for making ISK off of people that I liked. I had to force myself to accept a minimum base that I would not go below to stop myself from bankrupting myself. This is because I am bad at Eve. I am bad at markets. I just want to do a project that I enjoy. I want to putter in my project. I want to haul my own things and not make my decisions based off of Black Frog or Push X's base fees.
I understand that I fail at Eve but sometimes, I just want to play hte game. I want to dot eh things that make me happy for the soul reason that they make me happy. If that means I freighter my own goods instead of contracting them to someone else based of off a mathematical equation to average out the cost of my own time and the laws of opportunity cost, its what I want to do. I am confused over the fact that I wind up in arguments where I am passionately and politely told to stop doing the things that give me the reward that I want because its not the right way to do it.
There is some point where my basic enjoyment of Eve and enjoyment of activities in Eve has to give into what my personality can handle about the seriousness of Eve. At some point, bringing lower prices to Bosena because I have chosen to absorb the cost of freighting my own goods and accept the lower payment that comes from the margin my store gives instead of wrapping up the cost of paying someone else to transport my goods, has to have a value to me to make it worth it. I don't see my world in regards to ISK and min/maxing my existence.
I know TCS could be more profitable and still 'fair' as 'fair' is defined in the lands of economics and comparison equations. I know that I am not maximizing the opportunity. I know that many people would never waste their time on the thin margins I work the store with. I know that my time has value. I really do know all of these things.
It is not that I am altruistic. I'm not. If anything TCS is incredibly selfish. It is another way for me to try to prove that low sec is more then 'lol' sec. It is an effort for me to prove that there is more to low sec then mindless PvP between 'non entities' and whatever other disdainful descriptor one wishes to put here.
I cannot define everything I do in Eve off of values that other people give the things. Often times, these values make complete sense. Sometimes, they don't. Running TCS isn't about competing in a trade hub. Its not that 100k ISK here and a million ISK there is game breaking. Its that TCS is a manifestation of me. How its run, my goals for it, my methods for handling it, are all things that are fully and completely related to what makes me happy with this project. And I love it. I love my little poorly run, sub-optimal market in a silly part of space with ridiculously small margins that may be to much work for its return for people who don't know who I am or care.
I fucking love it. And I don't want to change. I don't want to become more interested in my margin then my product. I don't want to tack on costs just because I can and people will absorb them because that is how economics work. I don't want any of that. And I feel bad saying it. I feel wrong. I know its not proper economics. Its not the right way to do the market. I know I'm doing it wrong. And for all the time I spend in Eve trying to learn and improve and become better at things, when it comes to this little market in a back pocket of low sec, I think that I'd prefer to continue to do it wrong if doing it wrong keeps me so happy.
I'm going to finish my rant and go to bed. I often say that I work out ideas on my blog that I cannot in chat rooms. In some ways I am being ungrateful to those that suggest these changes to me (tonight was just a tipping point after a long day). They are trying to help me. To improve my market. To improve my general quality of life. If anything, the goal is to knock sense into me. To make me appreciate myself more. To give greater value to what I am doing. To make sure I don't burn out. To make sure I am educated.
For those that care enough to point out what they see as a glaring over site in my store management and tasks: Thank you for caring. I appreciate it even when I am ranty and frustrated because I can not communicate what and why I am doing what I am doing effectively.
I'm the one standing in the rain storm drinking my tea. I know, very well, that I am the odd note in the symphony of Eve's economics. I can't help it. It is who I am. It is what I am.