As the end of the academic semester nears, the litany of complaints rise. The “I would rather do this than that” puts extreme conditions in place for a persons willingness to do an activity or pay a price. This conveniently coincides with my marketing studies and, ironically, an article about violence in the NHL.

In the NHL (National Hockey League) fighting on ice is a commonality of most every game. The article (a series  on the life and death of Derek Boogaard) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/sports/hockey/derek-boogaard-a-boy-learns-to-brawl.html speaks to a person’s determination to be in the NHL no matter what the price. For Derek the price of entrance was fighting on ice.
Thinking back to my marketing class and the concept of Willingness to Pay (WTP; the price a person is willing to pay for a product with a set of attributes), I see the similarities in Derek’s dream job and that of someone buying a coat or better yet, that Louis Vuitton bag. While both seem unattainable, for the few who have the will and either have the skills or, for the latter, the money, attaining either is a matter of what can you live with or without in order to get it. Derek was willing to live with a lot of pain and pressure. This makes the litany of complaints from my fellow students both petty and flaccid—they know they will complete the work they’re complaining about even as they voice their complaints. It also brings to light the importance of understanding a persons Willingness to Pay and what that means for supply and demand.