Sunday’s 60 minutes piece about the stock market being “rigged” was a travesty. It might as well have been a 20 minute infomercial for Lewis’s book and a startup stock exchange. You know it’s shoddy journalism when you don’t even get ONE quote from anyone on the other side.
I’ve seen a lot lately about Bitcoin. To be clear, before I start… I think Bitcoin is an amazing phenomenon, amazing technology, and will probably end up being a historically significant failed first step at a truly digital currency and serve as a beginner’s blueprint for future governments (or other organizations whose primary function is the application of force).
Now… onto the nonsense.
Claim: Bitcoin could help small and large businesses save TONS of money on credit card fees!!! It’s nearly free!
The “transaction cost” of a credit card transaction is damn near zero. Do you REALLY think it takes Amex or Visa a lot of effort to say “OK subtract $40.56 from this guy and credit $40.56 to this guy”?
Of course not. The transaction is already digital. The currency is already digital. There is no cost. Don’t believe me… open a Venmo account and pay me $5. I’ll send you $5 back and it won’t cost either of us a dime.
This is digital debit/credit without the overhead of miners having to verify the work.
OK then Andy… if the transaction doesn’t cost CC companies anything, then why am I paying 1.9%+.25 to accept a credit card??
Because it ain’t about YOU, son. You see, you’ve flipped things all upside down. This is about your customer…who also happens to be American Express’s customer.
To prove this is simple: When is the last time you heard someone say “please pay me with credit card rather than cash?” Right— never.
Now… when is the last time you heard someone say “do you accept Amex?” Probably every single day if you’re a successful small business.
CC companies do ALL of these things for your customer that Bitcoin does NOT :
1. Allow your customer to pay you with debt. Note: This is extremely beneficial to you as well, as it makes your goods a multiple more affordable without YOU becoming a creditor to each customer. Think about that.
2. Provide your customer with an INSANE level of highly sophisticated fraud prevention and recovery that makes your customer more likely to purchase from little old unknown YOU.
3. Rewards your customer for using their payment method. Bitcoin bonus points that let me go to Paris next year might be in the future, but they won’t come free.
Credit cards make your customers happy. THAT is why they win, and you pay them to participate.
So last weekend I had what I honestly believe is my biggest, best and simplest startup idea yet.
We’re going to do it.
It’s definitely in the stock market.
It definitely appeals to younger people.
It definitely is mobile first if not mobile only.
Now what I’m struggling with (prematurely, I admit)… is whether or not this is a separate effort/brand/company, or if it should fall under the existing (and growing! and awesome!) LikeFolio brand?
Easier to market and build one big brand with multiple functions and larger scope, or separate functions = separate brand?
I’d really enjoy some comments from you guys… or if you prefer to keep your 2 cents private, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Any resources, experience or opinions on this sort of thing.
Is it better to keep brands narrow and focused? Or better to go for the big brand?
Let me know what you think.
p.s. The only reasons I’m considering the “big brand” route is because 1) LikeFolio has great traction and distribution already and 2) the new idea is focused on the same demographic and industry as LikeFolio… but it would be a substantial expansion in scope.
You know more than you think about investing. In fact, after 14 years in this industry, we would bet anything that your gut instincts about hot products and up and coming brands are more valuable in determining a long-term investment than any professional chart-reader’s analysis.
Because so many asked, here are the words I prepared for my dad’s memorial service on Oct 11, 2013. Thanks to everyone who shared their sympathies and made this otherwise unbearable week a lot easier on us. The “plumber in a tie” will be missed by many.
Everyone who knows our dad, Ted,…
So sorry for Nick’s loss…so glad he wrote this, and allowed me to get to know a great man that I never met in the process.
I see fast-food workers are striking. Good for them. Refusing to work for less than you believe you are worth, and joining others who believe the same, and making the consumer aware of the conditions they support…that’s great free-market stuff.
I see their demands are political, centered around the minimum wage. Bad for them. Wrong move. They’re being used by zero-sum losers who gain when the victim-class grows. Occupy rookie shit.
Instead of standing outside saying “We know we are worth more, and we won’t work until you pay us that value!”….
They are saying “We know that we aren’t worth it, but we want men with guns and jails to force you to pay it!”
The only way that strikers can be right is to be right. By refusing to work for the wage, and by putting the company in a position where it must pay them what they demand because no one else is willing to produce as much value for that cost.
If others can do what you do for less money, you lose. If they can’t, you win.
It’s really not complicated.
p.s. I absolutely LOVE reading all of the articles where the author feels the need to make clear his negative opinion on McDonald’s food… as he yammers on about how the price for that same food could easily be higher. Amazing.
I really cannot understand how Google abandoning reader made people think that an RSS reader was an opportunity. Obviously, the market there is shit.
Google dominated that market and still didn’t want it. Just walked away!
Not only is getting into the reader business “Red Ocean”…it’s a bloody red ocean where the only thing left are scraps that the big fish didn’t want to bother with. Leave it to the vultures to clean up that carcass.
I’m late to this but it’s a lesson we should have all learned from it. When the best don’t want the market, you shouldn’t either. Instead, invent or expand a market that they will want in the future.
I don’t know enough to know if I’m wrong— by default I believe I’m right— and right now logic tells me something really bad is probably in the works. In the last 2 weeks, we have had outages and hacks on major epicenters of U.S. internet commerce and communication.
But now is a better time to prepare for a major full-scale internet outage than later. Imagine your life, your business, your banking, your transportation, etc….without reliable internet access for 30-90 days.
I’ve been asked that several times over the last month.
The answer really has two parts:
I have always been, and will always be, inspired by the prospect of empowering individuals to do big things with their passions and knowledge.
It’s my natural state. When I hear someone talk about what they know…what they love…and I see that twinkle in their eye…. I want them to do something with it. For themselves. I want to be a part of it.
Digital goods and services are knowledge, experience and passion transfer mechanisms. The scalability that an individual can achieve through digital mediums is unbelievable….it’s literally greater than the power that Julius Ceaser wielded in his prime.
Combine these with the innate goodness of “price” (which by definition demands an exchange of real value) and you have a winning thesis: Empower individuals to create and sell premium digital content from their knowledge, experience, and passion. In other words… Voomly is a business-manifestation of myself.
We regretted selling our first company.
DaytradeTeam was a subscription-based business where clients gained access to expert traders’ knowledge and content.
After spending 7 years building the company, the subscription platform, the client base, the content-delivery mechanisms…. we sold it. It was a good deal with a good buyer and we felt really good about it.
But we soon grew to regret it.
Because we realized that we left so much on the table. We realized that we had built this system for ourselves only. We benefitted from it, so did our clients, so did the buyer. But no one else.
We realized, after the fact, that we had built a platform for creating a very meaningful subscription-based business….and only released it to one user…ourselves. “That could have been so powerful for experts in other niches. Damn it!”
So here we are. The platform is ready & growing. So is the user-base.
We can’t wait until a single Voomly Seller is bigger than DaytradeTeam was. It will happen.
I hope it’s you.
Give it a shot. I’ll help you create and promote your business. It’s what I do.