I left a note in my Weekend Reads post on something that was said during one of the podcast I listen to. I can’t remember exactly what was said, but in my notes, the founders of Career Karma were following the advise of YCombinator to build a business that doesn’t scale. The goal being to focus on the quality of the product or service and being consistent in communicating with your customer. They didn’t get further into the strategy, but this aligns with what Bill Gurley was discussing on the Invest with the Best Podcast, build a business that doesn’t scale (even at times by design) and distribute that product via the scalable rails of the internet.
What is being described here is probably a more important concept than is often discussed. You don’t truly have a scalable business without a quality focus to create a superior user experience. Listening to these podcast reminded me of the Funnel Framework, so I went back to a post by Ben Thompson discussing this concept.
Note the critical link is first delivering a superior user experience and then leveraging that into owning a funnel to a specific type of customer.-Ben Thompson at Stratechery
To bring this a bit closer to home. This week Fox Restaurants Concepts (FoxRC) announced that they were being purchased by the Cheesecake Factory. Announcement from Cheesecake Factory here. For those that don’t know, FoxRC is pretty dominant in Phoenix, AZ, don’t know if there are numbers out there on market share but if your looking for good food, fair prices and a quality experience, you are likely ending up at a FoxRC restaurant.
FoxRC delivered a superior user experience and was able to scale. Don’t know the motivation behind the sale, maybe it was the speed at which it was able to scale, but user experience built a great business in a brutally difficult space.
The user experience is the driver, it should be the number one focus.