Monday, October 30, 2006

Why'd you pick that name?

Justin Crowell, a friend of mine who lives in Austin, Texas, asked about why I chose Rowdy Labs as a name.

It's memorable.

It's polarizing. Using ameliorate in my resume gets me rejected from the type of company that would hire a HR person who'd reject a resume because it contained a word he didn't understand. Similarly, if the name "Rowdy Labs" scares you enough to avoid my business you probably should avoid my business. If the connotations of the word Rowdy make you think I'll going to fight the world if necessary to make the idea work, you'll know I'm your man. Polarization is bad in some spheres. When you can use it to generate good fits with like minded people, it's a great thing.

"Rowdy Labs" also connotes that this is an incubator that will spin off businesses as they take on a life of their own. The business of this business will be founding businesses. I'm most interested in ideas that aren't just another job. Ideas that gain a lot from a lot of effort building them. I'm a builder at heart.

My Grandfather and Grandmother ran a 7-Eleven franchise from before I was born until I was 12 (Grandma sold it to move to Georgia with us). Grandpa was a maintainer, a shopkeeper at heart. I learned a lot about that from the years I worked there. By the time I was twelve, I was running the register, and stocking the shelves and much of the other work that goes into keeping those running. It's a great thing if you're the type of person who likes a steady income, customers who know your name and you theirs. I think I might think about it for retirement. Until then, building will be for me.

Some businesses, such as consulting, work out for great people. However you're fundamentally limited by the amount of *you* there is. This is fundamentally shopkeeping. This appeals to some people. Speaking with a member of that company, it really appeals to them. Good for them, and their many happy customers. It is a tried and true method, and it is bringing them prosperity.

Other businesses, such as product creation/selling, wholesaling, fixed product websites and distribution have a much greater potential for scaling. Growth is much easier to scale (you're not fundamentally limited by the amount of you) and they're very up for outsourcing. They allow you to concentrate on a core competency, and building relationships. As I have the skill of keeping a lot of plates in the air, I can do this sort of business.

Something I am good at is a research, research, research, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, then concentrate on marketing and growth. This fits working an idea hard until it works, then backing off to let more long term people the day to day.

Focus is key in businesses. I'm not trying to sign up for a life of leisure. Just hard work with the possibility of a big payoff.

--Michael

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