Avoid The Tourist Trap

A great meal in Paris…

One of the best things about spending a week in Paris is getting to experience some really great food.

A simple way of knowing if a place is worth visiting is by simply walking inside and listening carefully to the customers. Are they speaking French? If they are, then you’ll likely have a good meal.

The reason places which cater only to tourists suck is because they usually just want to make a quick buck. They’re not interested in starting a new relationship with a long term customer. They want to maximise profits and spend as little as possible while doing so.

However, this kind of plan won’t work with locals. With locals you have to play an “infinite game”. Developing and nurturing longstanding relationships where you actually care about the people you have the privilege of serving.

The question is, are you treating your customers like tourists? Do you want to take them for a ride?

Or are you playing the infinite game? Are you in this for the long haul because you actually care and want to build longstanding relationships?

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Variables For Enterprise Software

Most enterprise software incumbents deliver a suite of products.  You want to use one bit of their product?  Well your only option is to buy it all.

Incumbents predicate their success on this model.  It’s the way they got to the top and that’s how they want to keep it.  They like to work in verticals – selling their suite of products to different enterprises.

New startups in the enterprise software space can leverage this to their advantage.  They can take something which is painfully broken, make something which elegantly solves the problem and sell it.  The larger incumbents haven’t fixed this problem already because they either haven’t realised it exists or because it’s not lucrative enough for them to fix.

However, what startups can do is work the horizontal axis.  If this product can be sold to a lot of people and can result in a platform, then you’ve started to disrupt the incumbents.  As the platform grows so does the value of your product.  Incumbents don’t have a chance of competing as their business model won’t allow it*.

*There are a few examples of some incumbents who have been brave enough to change their models and remain the winners, but these are very rare.

Disruption In Three Simple Steps

  1. Think carefully before starting your business about a product that has the potential to grow into many different areas and eat away at the large incumbent businesses.
  2. Create a hyper focused niche product that can solve a problem for a lot of people, but not so many people that an incumbent organisation would be interested in competing.
  3. Start to grow into different areas and eat away at the competition.  They will be too far behind or have an entrenched business model that won’t allow them to compete.  This is disruption.

Shame

Here’s how to overcome shame, which is the biggest killer of your dreams and aspirations:

“I’m not going to be ashamed of who I am and what I care about.

If it’s not for you, you’re a non believer.”

Shun the non believers.  Move on.

“This is me, this is what I believe in and I cared enough about this to put it in to the world.

If it’s not for you, then that’s ok, but I will not accept your shame.

I’m being vulnerable because I want to be better at this, but you may not give me your shame in return.  I’m just not going to take it.  It’s not for you to give me.”

Now go and do that project you’ve always wanted to do.

Go.

Burning Behind Your Eye

The triptans are a funny group of drugs.  Usually when a patient needs a drug we give them a drug that they have to take regularly every day.

With migraines we give “triptans” where we ask the patient to take the drug once they can feel a migraine coming on.  The triptan then stops that first symptom of a migraine – usually a burning sensation behind the eye, or a small ache in their head – from turning into a full blown migraine.  

Sometimes subtle symptoms are the most telling.  Feeling a little low after a days work, slightly hollow after a night out, somewhat restless in your spare time.  Like that burning sensation behind the eye, all these signs are likely indicating something that could turn into something very painful if not correctly addressed.