Guts (part 2 of 2)

April 27, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

Saw some pretty accurate guesses from yesterdays post.

Here are the respective businesses from those ideas:

1-    People will pay for music that is 15 seconds long
o    Ring-tones, a 6 billion dollar market

2-    People will pay much higher prices to save 1-5 minutes for food, household goods, etc…
o    7-11, a multi-billion dollar company

3-    People will pay you money to hurt themselves
o    Cigarettes, a multi-multi-billion dollar industry

Normally when you read these ideas you would never believe they could grow so large. I am sure people felt the same about the computer among other things when they first heard Bill Gates say everyone will get one on their desktop.

This comes back to the gut-call that a few entrepreneurs really believed and saw the potential of a market and attacked. I think normal business formulas would probably say that these investments or businesses would never pan out. What does it all mean? I would just say ask your gut sometime when making a decision.

What other businesses did we not expect to succeed so well?

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6 responses to “Guts (part 2 of 2)

  1. Noah Reply

    There is actually a quote somewhere from the very early days of computing – a guy from IBM I believe stating that there will only be a market for about five computers in the world! Talk about a lack of vision… great post.

  2. Damon Z Reply

    Online adult videos would have to be the business that no one expected to succeed so well. The Internet has really helped make the industry mainstream thanks to the discretion of having a personal computer :). The success stories of pornographic websites are really the pink elephants in the room. Maybe there is still hope for a sequel to Boogie Nights.

  3. Derek Scruggs Reply

    Good thoughts, but I take issue with this one:

    > People will pay you money to hurt themselves

    Do you really think that’s what the founders of RJR had in mind? “I’ve got it! We’ll sell something nobody likes that, if used properly, will kill you.”

    You could make the same argument for fast food. This feel slike you’re trying to shoehorn the tobacco interest into your premise.

    How about another example:

    “People will pay you money for things that don’t exist”

    o “Supplies” and “luxuries” in online worlds like There.com

  4. Lora, Associate Rock Star Reply

    Have you read either “Built to Last” or “Good to Great”? Both are surprisingly engaging, being business books and all.

    Dude needs to change his profile pic, already! Sheesh. 🙂