Number ones and Number twos. A recent post by Gary Vaynerchuk titled, “I can’t code, and you can’t sell crap“, has received some passionate reactions from both sides. The crux of his message is that there are a high number of “#2’s and #3’s” starting companies right now that simply will not last long term because these folks overplay their natural role. “There is this huge disconnect right now where everybody thinks they can be entrepreneurs…” he goes on to say. I’m a big Gary Vee fan. He can be over the top at times, but you simply have to respect the dude’s hustle. This one hits home a bit, as I’ve been a wannabentrepreneur for a while now. Here’s my take in a nutshell – you’ll never know for sure that you’re a number two until you try (and fail) to be a number one. At least for most of us. Fail smart, be honest with yourself, then play your position. Nothing wrong with being the best fucking #2 in the world.
Simple is beautiful. With every passing day I realize more and more how useless ideas are without execution and strategy. I’ve read about at least five start-ups in the last six months that are built on ideas I had years ago. Big whoop. All that being said, it’s the ideas that solve the simple every day problems or provide a “How did I not think of that?!” value to users that get me the most excited (a la Dollar Shave Club). In honor of simple brilliance, here are a few start-ups built on these principles:
- ParkTag: uses your phone’s GPS to pin where you parked your car and lets you alert your friends when you are leaving a spot
- DipJar: credit card-powered tip jar for small businesses
- Pogoseat: real-time seat exchange for live events
- OwnMutually: crowdfunding the purchase and ownership of items too expensive to buy on your own
Going Full Tilt Bozo on Medium. Finally published my first piece on Medium, on a topic near and dear to my heart. In it, I reference an amazing Robin Williams stand-up routine from the late 70s. I’ve linked to the video below. Start at 36:41 for the section I’m talking about.