Spare me the sexy

09/03/2014

A friend shared a new business idea yesterday.

It was essentially a logistics business specializing (at least at first) in…milk. What I liked about the idea—in addition to the fact that it seemed to be a worthwhile pursuit for the parties it will serve—is the fact that the business is not glamorous.

Sexy businesses are filled with distractions.

It’s easy to get sucked into the idea of a business or to envision ourselves as the owner of a business that does some interesting thing because of how it will position us socially.

You know what’s really sexy, though?

Profit.

Shad Khan (billionaire owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars) made his fortune in the auto parts industry. Craig Newmark (creator of Craigslist) built his business doing work so tedious that I would be reduced to tears taking over those responsibilities just for a day. Insurance sales are not exciting by any stretch of the imagination, but fortunes are being made.

What I like about unsexy businesses is that they force you to be honest and to work on the things that make sound business sense. I imagine it’s a bit challenging focusing on the fundamentals when your VC-backed startup opens beautiful new offices in Palo Alto and you spend your days deciding how to more efficiently burn through allocate money you didn’t earn investor dollars.