I just turned on the TV and caught part of a Shark Tank pitch from two guys selling — wait for it — men’s ties. Ties. You know, those long pieces of silk that men used to wear when they wanted to look powerful.
Except now powerful men wear hoodies and t-shirts. And even when they do wear button down shirts, they’re more likely to lose those superfluous and constricting ties. You know, so they can actually get blood flow to their brains.
How did the Shark Tank episode turn out? Did the Sharks invest?
How should I know? I don’t watch the stupid show. My wife keeps the TV tuned to CNBC during the day so it’s just on by default.
But if I were a Shark, I’d tell those guys to find another venture. The reason, and this is a big tenet of mine, is you don’t chase market share in a declining market. Even if you’re Coca-Cola, which I think is making a huge mistake by doubling down on Coke in a declining global market for sugary carbonated beverages.
Consumers want stuff they think is healthier — like energy drinks and vitamin water — even if it isn’t healthier.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s possible to win in a shrinking market – for a time. But it’s a tough slug that just keeps getting tougher all the time. That’s just common sense.
ICYMI, people are wearing ties less and less frequently. They just are, across the board. In business, in politics, in general.
So here’s my advice for everyone from established CEOs and business leaders to budding entrepreneurs and small business owners: Don’t chase market share in declining markets — or try to create new markets, unless you’ve got the dough and the wherewithal to pull it off.
Come to think of it, just don’t do anything that makes no freaking sense.
I know it sounds silly when you read it like that but you’d be amazed. Virtually every CEO of every company I’ve ever worked with over more years than I care to admit has fallen into that trap at one time or another.
I don’t know what it is. They get one thing right and suddenly the laws of probability and supply and demand no longer apply to them.
Common sense isn’t complicated, folks. If you want to be successful over the long haul, and that’s the only haul that matters, here’s a tip: Don’t do stupid sh*t.
Image credit Alex Proimos via Flickr