Thursday, March 9, 2017

More or Less

Seth Godin defines the "race to the bottom" as the drive to deliver more for less.

Above all qualities, winning the race demands inveterate stinginess and a knack for constant streamlining.

"The problem with the race to the bottom is that you might win," he warns.

Today's winner, inevitably, becomes tomorrow's loser.

The "race to the top," on the other hand, is the drive to deliver more for more.

Some customers—not all—value more ("more meaning, more insight, more joy") enough to pay more for it.

The race to the top is the one you want to join, Godin says.

"The race to the top is focused on design and respect and dignity and guts and innovation and sustainability and, yes, generosity."

Sound a bit fanciful?

Then consider the difference between a small hotel and a boutique one.

My wife and I routinely lodge in Wildwood, New Jersey, so we can visit relatives who live nearby.

Our most recent stay was in a small hotel. It filled our needs, but barely. And even though—with its faux mid-century fixtures and decor—it strove to be memorable, the hotel was frighteningly forgettable. A good portion of each day, it wasn't even staffed; guests were on their own. The linens were commercial-grade. The common areas were stark. The self-serve breakfast was foodservice quality. And the coffee was bland.

Our prior stays, in contrast, were at Candlelight Inn, a B&B. The owners deliver on their website's promise to "make memories every day:"

    • The building and its furnishings are period—not faux—Victorian
    • Each room for let is markedly unique
    • The ambiance begs you to relax, feel good, and feel pampered
    • The owners are keen to learn your tastes and preferences, and let you know they value your business
    • The owners strive to deliver more, including a culinary surprise or two every day
    During future visits, we know where we'll stay.

    So what's your business model?

    More for more?

    Or more for less?
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