One of my favorite business people is Seth Godin. He writes daily on his blog, has published loads of books, and gives great talks. His advice about marketing, business, and a host of other things is extraordinarily valuable. In one of his books, The Dip, he writes about how every business that succeeds goes through the difficult times, and that knowing when to stick with it and when to quit is the key to success. But beyond this, he talks about being the best in the world. He wrote this on one of his blogs a few years back:
If you’re doing your best, only your AYSO soccer coach cares. If you’re the best in the world, the market cares. The secret, if you have limited resources (don’t we all) is to make ‘world’ small enough that you can actually accomplish that.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because as I’ve been talking with people about Tula, whenever I tell someone that we’re making software for yoga studios, they almost instantly tell me how we could probably expand into other types of fitness studios. Places such as martial arts studios, pilates studios, gyms, etc.
But here’s the thing, and I’m being completely serious when I say this: we are striving to be the absolute best software in the world for independent yoga studios.
The best in the world.
Yes, in the entire world.
And in order to be the best in the world, we need to make sure we’re keeping our ‘world’ small. And our world is, you guessed it, independent yoga studios.
I have absolutely no interest in making the third or fourth best software that can also be used to schedule hair appointments.
I could never have predicted that today I’d be making software for yoga studios. But I love it. I love how this product was born, I love our customers, and I love that there are people just like my wife running their businesses with our software.
The typical belief is that in order to grow, you need to expand and widen or wither and die. But there’s a second option no one ever talks about. You can go deeper. You can more intimately understand the needs of a particular business so well that no one else can possibly compete with you.
Diluting our attention away from yoga means that we’d be serving our core customers less effectively. It’s true that other types of places find our software useful, but that’s a happy accident.
Our focus on yoga isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength.
If you own a yoga studio, you should check us out – we just might be the best software in the world for you.