A ripple effect of a big fish in a little pond.

With the announcement of Hobbico going bankrupt, it has run shockwaves through the RC community. We all saw the writing on the wall, for the ones that were paying attention anyways; that something bad was taking place with this RC giant.

Companies that are under such heavy financial burdens have a hard time concealing these types of crisis’ with social media at the tips of their fingers. It is crucial for “news breakers” to be first to break a story, leak information, whether the facts are all out or not. With a company such as Hobbico filing for Chapter 11, the leaks as well as the stories came from all types of social media outlets, with some unexpected people and companies chiming in.

Prior to the announcement that Hobbico was filing for bankruptcy, little clue dropping companies were jumping the proverbial sinking ship by announcing that they needed new distributors for their products. Some companies even went as far to shame Hobbico by posting screenshots of money owed, why they were no longer apart of Hobbico, and as to why consumers were not receiving their products.

With such a bold style of business tactics, do we join in, read aloud the complaints, add to the fire with our own fuel? Social media is a dangerous vessel to further ruin one’s reputation, from the poster to the story being posted, no one is safe. The complainer can be shamed for making such outrageous posts where it tries to put the other in a bad light. There is a fine line to publicly shaming someone/company with the hope that everyone will side with you, and ride that wave, without a second thought to those affected, business is ugly.

Do we carry a thought past our own needs for those losing their jobs or the families this will affect? The communities that will be changed because Hobbico is possibly going out of business is a real concern. People should not be an afterthought to our needs for parts and pieces. Most understand business is business, but a families livelihood shouldn’t be adjacent to the cost of closing.

The effect of unpaid bills hurts the smaller companies that count on that income for their business livelihood. Maybe, some companies can survive that big missing piece of inventory, with some layoffs or other money sustaining revenues. The smaller mom & pop stores that relied on Hobbico for distribution of products may suffer a little more, and this may send them straight into closing their doors. The reasons as to why are lengthy, from trying to find a new supplier that carries everything they sell, waiting for shipments, and ordering from new suppliers that often want “x-amount” of dollars to order from to just name a few.

What greater view of Hobbico filing for bankruptcy does this have on the RC industry as a whole? When you take a way the infrastructure of such a giant company as Hobbico, you may see some side effects such as, prices of products go up, while supply of the products goes down, and the longer no company steps into that role Hobbico held, the more prices will go up. Production may slow as well as there is no large conglomerate buying up the items for the consumer. Further that, when you remove such a industry giant for so long, you suffer the totality of this gaping hole in consumerism. All communities, families, businesses, and the rc market suffer from this potential loss of a huge company, it is a ripple effect that is an unfortunate result in a major company closing, or at the very least, selling off brands, and/or possibly restructuring.

My humble opinion is to understand that businesses close and open all the time, so that should be a normal experience, but trying to have empathy for those hard working people losing their jobs should be a never ending practice. People always say, “That business is just a machine”, so we shouldn’t be surprised when that machines breaks, and needs to be rebuilt, or be a total loss. Let’s have some compassion for those losing more than just some parts. No person is worth the loss of humanity, and we should all be reminded that the machine will come back, and we can get our stuff, but we shouldn’t be so removed from life that people other than us are affected in a negative way.

Trevor Rushford

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