A long conversation about two weeks ago with Chuck and Vince was about finding something to do to earn money in our free time. Suffice to say one of my lamer ideas that night was to sell something in sites like multiply and ebay. Just realize that that is not what I want for a business, in fact I realize that even if we did something like that I would not really be satisfied with it.
See, I think I try to find my own way on most things. The paths I take may have been walked by other people but I try to be aware whenever I walk a certain path, its not about originality but about walking the path that is for you.
What irked me about my idea is that I was unwittingly selling out. I wanted to create, I wanted to walk a path for me and I’ve had this long irritation with middle men.
Why? It seems that most middle men/women I encounter can be said to bring little to no value the connection. Let’s take the lot of computer sellers in a mall floor. To protect myself from litigation lets call this mall SharonMall and the mall floor/part as CyberFloor. Using my totally unscientific and totally biased observations and my talent for overhearing a lot of things.
I observed that:
- The sellers were basically just a little knowledgeable with their products than the people they are selling to.
- The sellers who were really knowledgeable were somewhat aloof, they gave of this vibe that you were stupid trust them.
- The best sellers were basically honest and didn’t talk down to their possible customers. (If you’ve watched 40 year old virgin, I believe).
- A lot of people valued time and in a way this is logical, but it also meant that a lot of sellers survive on being available for the sale when the more efficient sellers are swamped.
Basically people who are not the best sellers tend to be snakes oil salespeople. I don’t want to be a snake’s oil sales men. I would like something that brings value to this world in a real sense not a rearranging the chairs. I want to create more chairs! I almost forgot that. I am glad even if I forgot about it , my friends have a higher standard than what I have. Cheers!
Middlemen add value when they bring taste or judgment or trust to bear on a transaction that isn’t transparent. Literary agents are crucial when publishers believe that their choice of content is essential but have too many choices and too little time. But publishers don’t trust every literary agent. They trust agents they believe in. Key point: anonymous agents are interchangeable and virtually worthless. Agents that don’t do anything but help one side find the other side in a human approximation of Google aren’t so helpful any more.
Think about how anonymous the typical real estate broker is. He will sell almost any house or represent almost any buyer. When selling a house, he has a fiduciary responsibility to represent that house to the best of his ability. Just like every other broker. The great real estate brokers do far more than this.