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Seek and ye shall find?

October 6, 2009

Do you remember how you met your girlfriend? Or if you are a girl, your bf?

Did you go to her or did she come to you?

If you went after her, it must have cost you a bomb. You remember the flowers don’t you? And the chocs, movies, expensive dinners, the works, and it may not even have worked but that’s the risk you were willing to take. No pain no gain.

If she went after you, then it must have cost her a bomb. That reminds me. When I was working in Sg I received the biggest bouquet in my life. It was also the only bouquet I ever received in my life, haha. The sender had left it at our receptionist with a card signed “May.” I never knew if May was a month or the name of a person because she never showed up after that. They were imported flowers. Must’ve cost a fortune so for whoever it was, it was all pain no gain.

Now, speaking of business.

Some businesses see great opportunity in new products or brands that people have never heard of. I call these proprietors greenfielders. They will spend a truckload of money chasing you down for your business, complete with song, dance and goodies. Their mantra: Be first or be last. Its all or nothing. No pain no gain.

The second type prefers customers to come to them. They deal in products that are already available in the market because it’s a guaranteed sign that people want them. Just check the old taste new-age kopitiams sprouting up. I call them brownfielders. Their mantra: Be safe, don’t gamble. Stick with what’s known.

From what I’ve seen, what road people take in business closely resembles their personal approach to life. Some like to take the action to people. Others prefer the people to come to the action. The former is a classic risk taker, someone who probably owns a fast car, is fascinated by extreme sports like rock climbing, and spends a few days a year in Macau or Genting. The latter is risk averse, always careful, calculative, conservative.

But does how you got your girlfriend have any real bearing on the success of your marriage? No it doesn’t. Similarly whether you chased the market or the market chased after you is also no guarantee that you won’t get run out of business.

I used to believe the aggressive go-to-market style works best. Now I’m a bit more realistic. When it comes to keeping your boat afloat, if there’s one thing the recent financial crisis taught me, its never to overestimate aggression or underestimate conservatism. The issue I think is not whether one is better than the other. The issue is deciding when is the right time to be one or the other.

In other words, while guys are expected to ‘chase’ after girls, there are times when its alright to let them chase after you. šŸ˜€

Just make sure you’re ‘fishing in the right pond’ when they do.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2009 12:36 pm

    What about going by statistics ?

    Chase after 10 girls , 6 will come to you :p

    play around with 5 industries , 1 will fail , 2 will be okay , 2 will succeed šŸ™‚

    Seriously , i don’t know which one am i , the aggressive or conservative..but i think i know the answer when i on bed .

    6 out of 10 ladies after you… wow you’ve just been upgraded to stud status, haha! Too bad I’m not a celeb guitarist. šŸ˜€

    Your biz is in a niche market and if your competitors are closing down, either they are positioned poorly or supply is exceeding demand.

  2. October 6, 2009 5:43 pm

    Sometimes it’s like fishing. You dangle the bait and make sure its attractive enough. If you’re rich enough, you cast the net and pull in all and sundry and throw out the ones you don’t want.

    Sometimes it’s like sailing. You find out which way the wind blows and how the current flows and you go accordingly, taking advantage of both and if possible, enjoy the view along the way.

    In reality there’s no fixed formula. You view the situation, take stock of whatever within your means and proceed accordingly.

    Yeah, I learnt that in martial arts. Tai chi is a great example. Useful in the battllefield and useful in the office. šŸ˜€

  3. October 7, 2009 8:16 am

    mmm actually when it comes to starting a biz, i’m more of the first type – introduce something new. it’s more difficult than the 2nd though. i think it also depends on which type of industry i’m entering.

    for relationship, i’m neither. hahaha. i donno also la.

    as for personality, i’m more of a conservative person. kinda calculative too but there are times when i need to change a little. have to be flexible in this world in order to survive.

    Introducing something new is a good thing. You just have to be prepared to pay to build awareness for your product so if you have the reserves, why not.

  4. October 7, 2009 11:31 pm

    i’m wondering if iphone market is too competitive to join in now. mmmm. seems like it’s becoming a red ocean šŸ˜¦

    Well, just do it better than the other guys. As long as there’s badly designed/inadequate apps out there, there’s $ to be made.

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