What’s the time?

Or how much is it?

Clocks at Ziferblat

It takes just a handful of people with sufficient insight and a moment in time to make that shift in paradigm that will leave everyone saying AHA! This coffee shop in London, you may have already heard about it, and other 10 like it in Russia have been the reason of the first AHA moment I’ve had in a long time. Still..

It starts with seeing the absurd difference between the real price of coffee and the price of the cup of coffee. It depends on the venue, of course, but I think it is fair to say that you pay more rent or staff than coffee beans at the cash register. It is probably more correct to say you are paying 0,3 ‰ of Starbucks rent than a cup of coffee when you actually pay for a cup of coffee. But rent, just like staff salaries or taxes, are invisible, so they do not count. Right?

Time is also invisible, even if you constantly stare at a clock. And today’s society wants us to believe that it also costs money. The time you spend drinking your coffee is time you take from being productive, they say. And this coffee shop chain, adorned with clocks at every corner, included one on the bill, capitalizes exactly according to this principle – time is money, leisure is for those who can afford it. You pay for the electricity spent while you are in the bar, the waiters that are at your disposal, the toilet water you flush. The price of coffee is so irrelevant, so why even bother about it?

They may be right when they make the point that you are paying for a service, not for a product, but not when they put a price on leisure. What is a cup of coffee without disconnecting and a coffee-shop without starring at the passers by? What is a coffee shop with a stop-watch?

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