I never spent more than twenty bucks on a wallet. Most were made of nylon or faux leather that wore out after a year.
Worth the Wait
“Our coffee is roasted each Tuesday.”
It was Wednesday and I was out of my favorite coffee from Blue Bottle. Add in shipping and I’d have to wait for another week and a half. I considered another brand, but that didn’t last long.
I decided it was worth the wait for what I consider to be the best.
Most companies I do business with take the opposite approach of Blue Bottle: their business is built around speed. Need a Diet Coke? The McDonald’s drive-thru is fast. If I need a pizza delivered ASAP I’ll call Domino’s. Lenscrafters promises eyeglasses in about an hour. And I can’t recall the last time I took my car to the dealer to have the oil changed.
Speed sells. It’s that simple. Of course, there are some services where speed isn’t a virtue. For example, I am not interested in the fastest or least expensive lasik surgeon.
In Search Of Things That Do Not Scale
In the late 90s I had the opportunity to take a factory tour of the Porsche plant in Stuttgart Germany. I watched as engineers assembled engines by hand. The only automation I noticed was how parts were delivered to each work station by robotic carts. Our tour guide pointed out that each Porsche was built-to-order and that a number of models had long waiting lists.
But it was an area near the end of the tour, just off the main assembly line that stood out to me that day. In this area were maybe a dozen or so women stitching together what looked to be large swaths of leather or canvas. Looking around the plant of such a high performance car company, this particular area felt antiquated. Another man in our tour group asked the tour guide why those women were not using commercial stitching machines.