Infinity & Kopek Business

Just thought I’d repost a Seth Godin article here as it’s particularly relevant to recent discussions both here and abroad about niche music, filters and success levels –

“Infinity–they keep making more of it

If you had a little business in a little town, there was a natural limit to your growth. You hit a limit on strangers (no people left to pitch), some became friends, some became customers and you then went delivered as much as you could to this core audience. Every day wasn’t spent trying to get bigger.

There’s no limit now. No limit to how many clicks, readers, followers and friends you can acquire.

I don’t think this new mindset is better. It shortchanges the customers you have now (screw them, if they can’t take a joke, we’ll just replace them!) and worse, it means you’re never done. Instead of getting better, you focus obsessively on getting bigger.

You’re at a conference, talking to someone who matters to you. Over their shoulder, you see a new, bigger, better networking possibility. So you scamper away. It’s about getting bigger.

Compared to what? You’re never going to be the biggest, so it seems like being better is a reasonable alternative.

The problem with getting bigger is that getting bigger costs you. Not just in time and money, but in focus and standards and principles. Moving your way to the biggest part of the curve means appealing to an ever broader audience, becoming (by definition) more average.

More, more, more is rarely the mantra of a successful person.

There are certainly some businesses and some projects that don’t work unless they’re huge, but in your case, I’m not sure that’s true. Big enough is big enough, biggest isn’t necessary.”

The original is here and if you’re not already “following” the non-twittering Seth Godin, you should be.

Special thanks to Krzysztof for the term “kopek business” or “penny-business” i.e. business that earns pennies, rather than pounds. Ironically, the name of my currently successful company was dervied from a reluctant understanding that we’d be dealing, or disributing, pennies from day one. Have a read of Krzysztof’s related post over at The Cynical Musician. Some great points.

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