a digital common place book | an @s_m_i production | one of a few

Chipotle brings us exactly what innovators have always brought us. Not the very best product in the world, but the very best production process allowing for large-scale distrbution of a quality product. Mass produced clothing isn’t as good as tailor-made, but a world in which mass produced clothing is available is a much better and more prosperous world than a world of handmade clothing. Artisans like the proprietors of La Taqueria make enormous contributions to their communities, but entrepreneurs and mass producers like Chipotle make enormous contributions to the whole world by bringing great ideas to scale.
- Taqueria is incredible. If you go, smother than burrito in green sauce. 

La Taqueria vs Chipotle: Buttito summit and burrito economics.

ONE of the many terms Silicon Valley has bequeathed to the business world is “serial entrepreneur”, a label for those restless souls who start one business after another. Perhaps Africa can now contribute another expression: the “parallel entrepreneur”. More than in any other part of the developing world, the continent’s budding business folk create networks of several firms across a number of different sectors of the economy, according to research by IMANI, a think-tank based in Ghana.

The 189 successful entrepreneurs it surveyed in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya own, on average, six businesses each. One boasted more than 60. What explains this entrepreneurial hyperactivity?


African entrepreneurs: Parallel players | The Economist (via prepaidafrica)

With usual caveats that comparing Silicon Valley to ‘Africa’ is not for the best.

Very few teams asking for money via Kickstarter have extensive, or even moderate, knowledge of business, taxes, or organizing the game development process in the long term.

It’s also easy to underestimate the financial and time investment the bonus structure requires. “We just didn’t fully appreciate the cost of printing 200 posters, shirts, and more than anything shipping. Shipping is a) expensive b) a pain in the ass when you have tubes and c) time consuming,” the Star Command team stated. “None of those things are productive. We don’t resent having sent that stuff off; we think the posters and shirts are awesome and we are super proud of them and it seems like everyone loved them, so that’s great. But they were a lot of work.”

Business leaders don’t need to know how to code, but having an understanding of what is involved is always a good thing. This can help them avoid classic management mistakes like ‘doubling the number of programmers means something takes half as long’, as well as thinking that programmers can pull something magic out of their hats in no time at all (although this course in particular seems to do the exact opposite, and may do more harm than good).
Like Goldilocks in the home of the three bears, most customers are seeking the product that is “just right” for them. For entrepreneurs, the challenge is to understand what makes a product “just right enough” to satisfy the needs of a large enough group of customers so that one can claim there is a sizable market to address.