Starting Again + List of Thoughts

FYI: there are some affiliate links used in this post mainly to show the things I’m referring to.

I’m starting to get back into the swing of things again, feel the creative juices slowly once more. (Any one know what creative is always paired with juices?!?)

The themes that I’ve explored in the past few years have gotten me close to my own goal of FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) neither of which I am in a position to be at the moment, but nonetheless is a goal of mine to achieve. I have a whole stake of books that I’ve bought through Amazon on these topics, from authors as wide as James Altucher to Alex Moazed. Stuff that’s fun for me to read because I’m always curious about what make things become nothing to something (which I guess is what Peter Thiel’s book is all about.)

Whether it’s straight-up investing or investing time/money into something that grows beyond you (i.e. a business), there’s a few things I keep coming back to; insights that I think seem to possess either a dig into the ex post facto aspects of it or knowing it may help or maybe it doesn’t — I really don’t know. The world has changed, especially in the world of business and startups that it’s hard to know if something that’s successful a few months ago is still successful today.

Ironically, I’m much more curious about what can work in perpetuity. I feel like that’s what I want to uncover but yet the state of entrepreneurship today, at least at my lower end is all about tactics – quick, mindset focused and action-oriented. There’s less thought about the viability and defensibilty – thought a good offence is the defence I suppose.

Nonetheless here are some thoughts but more like musings:

Mindshare

I first heard of this probably from Charlie Munger who continued to impress me. Questions I ask myself is, how do you get your brand so trusted and so intrenched that the only thing people associate to a feeling or an action they do solicits your product or service? I guess that’s what marketing is all about.

Unlimited Capacity

One of my favourite stories that is also from Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger is when they recount what their insight was when purchasing Coca Cola. I don’t exactly remember the phrase they used, but they essentially said that one of the insights they gleamed was that people can consume Coke all day and multiple times a day without feeling they’ve had enough.

Besides the obvious potential factors of the sugar content being addictive and also the caffeine, it was the formula the fizziness that made it a beverage people could enjoy more than once a day without feeling like it was too much. Buffets on the other hand probably isn’t something you can do more than once a day, let along once a week.

Of course this more concerns companies into CPG space but that’s important too and why flavoured water brands are all the craze these days. (Everyone needs to drink water and multiple times a day – might as well make it something that kind of tastes like orange pop/soda without the added sugars.)

Frequency of Use

I keep thinking about the best new and tech products have developed their brands from crowdfunding that have become behemoths now. In looking at it ex post facto, you see the best companies emerge as winners when they have a product that people just use everyday.

This has probably some to do with the aforementioned mindshare trip, but it’s also something from behavioural psychology where your touchpoint with customers be they passive or active are so frequent it’s just a no brainer for them to continue to feel the value your product and service brings (provided it actually does).

I think Gary Vanyerchuk probably says it best that it’s attention that wins. And right he is — there’s so much good content out there and there barriers to entry to doing basic marketing is table stakes. We produce so much content, in the form of videos, articles you name it, that our attention span can only take so much. So the winners are the ones that can accommodate our more limited attention span while delivering something to use that we use every week or every day, or even every hour.

Some examples I can think of include:

  • Bellroy, you use your wallet, how many times a day?
  • TikTok, give 15 second videos like Vine (remember that?) and people can watch tens of videos a day. Also it’s funny or entertaining.
  • Notifications on our Phones
    • e.g. Neobanks like KOHO here in Canada, where they provide real-time transaction detailed information on your purchases and categories, like Apple’s Credit Card too.
  • Bubly — one of the best marketing I’ve seen in years.
  • Stagg Pour Over Coffee Kettle — you use this thing as soon as you get up in the morning after checking your phone and maybe multiple times throughout the day

I suppose all these musing have a theme now that I think about it. Finding a community or persona of customers who will do an action of some kind multiple times a day without attention-fatigue or overcapacity — that’s the formula for building ultimate mindshare.

Dunno if these entrepreneurs and business folks premeditatedly did all this but boy was it successful (for them). Maybe it won’t work for you and maybe it won’t work for me — try as I may — but it seems like a worthwhile place to explore as part of your checklist to determine if it’s a good app or business to start on.

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