The smallest effective listener Seth’s blog
It is a stepping-stone, not a compromise.
The media and our culture force us all to create something, close the edges and scale the infrastructure.
But it turns out that quality, magic and satisfaction can lie on the other side. Not that we can’t grow up, but we want to be better.
One of the three best restaurants in New York has only 14 seats With the right fan base and technology, enough to allow the chef to create an experience that he can be proud of. A fabulous cafe down the street offering a small portion of the rent in a Midtown neighborhood. It’s not about everyone finding out. Focus on experience creates something that (some) people want to see.
Elliott Paper has written a book that his fans can’t get enough of. And the long tail of online book sales allows him to do so without a movie contract or to fancy a fancy publisher.
Junior is able to run a successful equipment repair business without a fancy truck or office, only gaining reputation in a very specific lane on a very specific website.
Focusing on SVA can enable a business to scale. PSAudio doesn’t reach many people … but the focus of the team is precise and deep enough that they have built one of the largest and most successful operations in their industry.
Or chocolate or software or baked goods or.
The smallest effective listener strategy doesn’t let you hook off – it does the opposite. You can’t say, “Well, we’ll just wait for the next random person to find us.” Instead, you have to choose your customers – who it is for and what it is for. And when you identify them, the opportunity / necessity is to create so much joy and connection that they choose to spread the word to like-minded peers.
Not everyone, but none. And it turns out that ‘someone’ is not as simple as it sounds. When you remove the alternative mantra of “you can choose who you are, and who we are”, you have to lean towards the obligation to be the kind of supplier that people will miss when you leave. It’s not easy, but people with this kind of focus will find it no other way.
Specification is the way. It has absolutely nothing to do with the absolute scale and everything it takes to be really clear about which hook you want to be and set a standard for the work that people engage and change.
What could be better?
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