The party is ON! Join us at TNW Conference 2021 in Amsterdam for face-to-face business!

The heart of tech

This article was published on June 17, 2010

    The Perfect Opportunity VS The Right Opportunity

    The Perfect Opportunity VS The Right Opportunity
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    Founder & board member, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    Michael DellWhen you think of the average Harley-Davidson purchaser you see a guy in his late twenties or early thirties in jeans, leather jacket and a 3-day stubble. Right? Wrong. The average Harley-Davidson purchaser is man in his late forties closing in on 50 who has more than an average income.

    How would you define Playboy magazine? An American men’s magazine, right? Lots of nude photography, some stories about sex and then some stories for entertainment, all focused on pleasing the male readers. Almost true. That sums it up for 70% to 80% of the readers. Estimates say that 20% to 30% of all Playboy magazines are bought and read by women.

    Lets say you open a bar and decorate it as a 60s Rock & Roll bar. You’ve got the jukebox, Chevrolet and Elvis Presley posters. You open up your bar and it turns out that right next door is the local hangout for goth fans. Your bar starts to be THE hangout for goth fans. What do you do?

    Option one: you stick to the plan, chase those goths away and work harder at attracting folks who are into rock & rolll.
    Option two: you change the plan and make sure you become the best place in town for goths to hang out. You add a few goth rockstar posters, ask one of them to DJ now and then and even paint your own hair black.

    Which option is right? It was a trick question: none are. A smart ass entrepreneur would have found out about that goth hang-out before he opened up his bar and seen the opportunity.

    Unfortunately we don’t always see the opportunity beforehand or it just appears after we get started. What you want to do is be ready for opportunities as they present themselves. As Michael Dells once said “Don’t spend so much time trying to choose the perfect opportunity, that you miss the right opportunity.”

    There is an even older saying goes “Plan early, plan twice”: the better you plan everything out in advance the harder it will be to open your mind to new opportunities.

    I wonder if Playboy is adjusting their magazine to please the 20-30% female readers. And if Harley-Davidson is adding briefcase and coffee-cup holders and to their next line of bikes. It might not be the perfect opportunity, the one that you brag about in bars and to your friends, but it just might be the right opportunity.