I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!
I literally have at least a hundred plus business, advertising, and marketing related books. But about ten years ago I just stopped buying them. I found they were all pretty much the same, repurposed garbage. My number one problem with many was they talked like we lived in a “perfect” world. We don’t! But I never stopped buying anything Seth Godin publishes. He is my idol. A true visionary who always motives me. Case in point is this video. I love the quote by one lady, “anything worth doing will probably invoke fear.”
Today’s edition of quick hits that won’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to you:
And your geek link of the day:
Paul Graham, in a post titled Startup=Growth, details how they differ from other types of businesses.
That difference is why there’s a distinct word, “startup,” for companies designed to grow fast. If all companies were essentially similar, but some through luck or the efforts of their founders ended up growing very fast, we wouldn’t need a separate word. We could just talk about super-successful companies and less successful ones. But in fact startups do have a different sort of DNA from other businesses. Google is not just a barbershop whose founders were unusually lucky and hard-working. Google was different from the beginning.
To grow rapidly, you need to make something you can sell to a big market. That’s the difference between Google and a barbershop. A barbershop doesn’t scale.
For a company to grow really big, it must (a) make something lots of people want, and (b) reach and serve all those people. Barbershops are doing fine in the (a) department. Almost everyone needs their hair cut. The problem for a barbershop, as for any retail establishment, is (b). A barbershop serves customers in person, and few will travel far for a haircut. And even if they did the barbershop couldn’t accomodate them.
Writing software is a great way to solve (b), but you can still end up constrained in (a). If you write software to teach Tibetan to Hungarian speakers, you’ll be able to reach most of the people who want it, but there won’t be many of them. If you make software to teach English to Chinese speakers, however, you’re in startup territory.
Most businesses are tightly constrained in (a) or (b). The distinctive feature of successful startups is that they’re not.