Are there enough?

August 11, 2018

I was standing with my dad today in a specialty store in Colorado. Always worried about "the average person", he asked, "Do you think someone would rather shop here than a Wal-Mart"?

I told him, "I think the relevant question isn't X vs Y, but rather, are there enough people that want to shop here?"

The thing about business is that there's no such thing as "winning" or "losing". All that counts is whether the stakeholders—the employees, owners, customers, and suppliers—are happy.

But I think there's more to it. "The average person" is the question of mass retail—Proctor and Gamble—a small number of products sold to the middle of the market, with glossy TV ads supported by huge ad budgets.

"Are there enough" is the question of Internet-first commerce, where good businesses are possible serving segments—audiences—of hundreds or even dozens, all over the world. If they want what you're selling and you can reach them, you're in business.

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