Friday, November 18, 2005

Boring Makes It Easier

We don't manufacture circuit boards. We don't know how a semiconductor works. We don't have "dot com" after our name. We clean houses and we're boring. And that's the main reason we're successful. Nobody pays attention to boring industries.

Boring industries have been around forever. A company can dominate a boring industry for a long time because nobody else wants to enter the industry. It's hard to get a bunch of venture capitalists excited about lawn care, plumbing, or housecleaning.

I was at an entrepreneur club meeting recently and witnessed this first hand. It was an open meeting and the club was looking for new members. Of course, I eat this kind of stuff up. I decided to attend and network a little bit. I walked into the room and started mingling with the current members. I talked about our history and our plans for the future. I thought that totally reinventing an industry seemed pretty exciting. I was wrong.

The conversation was redirected to another group that was speaking to another potential new member. The other guy had just started a new company with a fancy technical name. He talked about his plans for the future and his current situation. The members went crazy over this guy. I've never seen business cards exchanged quicker. Anyway, the meeting started and I sat next to this guy. Turns out, he doesn't even have a customer yet. Better yet, he doesn't even have a product to sell yet. About the only thing he does have is a fancy business name.

People like being smart. People feel good when other people tell them that they're smart. It's hard to act smart when you clean houses for a living. That's fine with us.

It's easier for us to succeed when nobody else cares. Boring makes my job easier.

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