What’s the problem with a used car salesman?

One person made all the difference in the automobile industry. He enabled the shift in the culture such that a car company is named after him; of course, he is William Metzger.

The Story

He was the first car dealer in the US. In the 1890s he opened up a bike store. He got influenced by the auto show and car making process, he sold his bike store and started making electric cars.

Here are some of the problems he faced:

  • You needed a huge capital
  • The car was relatively unknown
  • And it would need service

Metzger devoted his life to the automobile industry. He started the auto shows in the US and started public racing. And among then racers was Henry Ford.

This was an important thing because people needed to visualize cars and see the shift in culture.

So highways were created to have a place so cars can be used.

Meanwhile Henry Ford had created 3 companies primarily because he had became famous by winning the automobile races.

The End Of Dealership

The business of dealership went through the roof because car companies couldn’t build up distribution from the ground up.

So they made a deal that they will stick with the dealership for decades or centuries if they can keep having customers for cars and also profit per car.

Tesla ended that cycle because you can order directly from them. The trick is they offer a 30-day money back guarantee, and that’s cheaper for them than working with a dealership.

But here is the messy part. Cars broke, and dealership is in the business of doing service. That’s why you have to take many trips to the car dealership for getting the problem solved.

And in a way, car companies are required to keep dealership happy. But now tables have turned and car company have the upper hand and your TESLA won’t need many trips for service.

You might wonder why car companies ask you to rate the dealership for service. Turns out for you as a customer can’t differentiate between car dealership and brands.

So some dealerships are working towards having a better service rather than focusing on short term profit. This is also an example of how the distribution changes things for people.

Computers And Other Examples

When the personal computer came into existence, they had the same problem as car acceptance did:

  • You need a huge capital
  • You don’t trust
  • And it needed service

So computer land became a sorta dealership for computers. But you as a customer weren’t ready to pay for the repair in huge dollars.

Apple decided that the hardware might not be fixed by you, but you don’t need to worry because the software is top notched.

And they created the Apple Store, which created an empathy level connection while selling Mac computers. So despite them being available everywhere, you bought it from them.

Now they aren’t focused on connection though as they have grown and their core values have been compromised.

Another Perspective

Still today many people don’t want to buy something which they can’t touch. One such example is eyeglasses.

Warby Parker put the bus in a different spot of a potential customer and experimented a lot. And where the bus had sold more, they rented the place and opened the store.

Opening retail outlet is an easy way to show trust if you are just an online company.

People Like Metzger

There are many high-end coffee beans retail place because economics allow them to exist. On another hand, there aren’t many high-end chocolate bars selling the retail store.

Hence when you think about how culture changes based in business, we need more people like Metzger to take the leap and push to go for the extra mile.

Questions

  • As a publishing company, what to do because of the hanging landscape?

First, you need to see that the world is changing. Also, what is your goal for your organization?

When the world changes, people fall because they focus on the things they don’t have. First focus on the things you have and double down on them.

In the book publishing industry, you are the intermediary, and you need to build a relationship with readers and authors.

You should be finding great authors for your readers and not find readers for authors. Build a relationship and show your value of curation.

One way to do is have a connection build in everything you do around you, authors, and readers. It’s tough, but if you are persistence and focused on both ends, you will grow.

  • Is it too late to start at 30 ignoring sunk costs and being supple?

First, you aren’t starting late. Because as the world changes, many people who have more sunk cost than you will have to start over.

Another thing is to look at the smallest Viable audience. And not focus on the biggest dip.

Instead of thinking of becoming the best and getting an academy winning actor, then there is a considerable dip you need to go through.

A better way is to become an accountant for a specific group of people – musicians in New York. By doing the best work for them, you will get a referral, and you can get through the dip fast and get the success you need. Choose your dip wisely by being ultra-specific in your craft.

  • Is there an approach to find your minimum viable audience?

And it depends on your craft and approach.

For example, if you get $1000 from 100 customers then that is your minimum viable audience. But before going in, you need to ask real questions – how many people will change, do they have money and do they need better service. And then go ahead.

With the advent of new cameras and phones, what is next for filmmaking student?

Better keeps on changing. For example, in filmmaking better used to mean if you can focus or use CGI. But now with AI doing most of the job, better means what kind of projects you are doing and can you lead

So ahead and take risky projects, do emotional labor, and have something beyond the pictures to show. Always keep asking, what does better mean?