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  August 13, 2010
Here’s Mud in Your Pie

Just a few days ago, I happened to be talking with my banker, Len, about some particular loan details.  Toward the end of our conversation he asked me, "I know that you’ve got your ear to the ground and talking with a lot of people...so what do your CEO friends have to say about the economy’s outlook"?
I explained to Len that I really didn’t talk too much about the economy as a whole with my friends but that I could tell him something about my own business if he was interested.  I went on to tell him that we were having one of the best years in recent history.  New customers are buying from us almost every day and we have several new projects in the pipeline. 
I told him that the size of the electronic and automotive components industry may be estimated at over $100B dollars per year and while the overall market may be down we continue to grow.  That’s because our market share in infinitesimally small as compared to the overall market size. Said in another way...the pie may be shrinking a bit, but our slice of the pie is still growing...mainly because it was so small to begin with.
If OptiFuse sales represent $2M of the total then we still only have 0.2% of the overall market...even if we double sales...OptiFuse still represents only 0.4% of the overall market!
Ask yourself how big your potential market is.  What is your personal percentage of this potential market?  The probable answer is that it’s typically a pretty small fraction meaning of course that there is a lot of potential business still out there.
You wouldn’t know this by what you hear or read in the media today...
Prior to advent of CNN in 1980, all of the daily news was condensed into a one-hour show and read to us by a small team of newscasters.  With the new 24-hour format, new content needed to be provided all the time with much of the news content being "editorialized". 
In other words...the news stations believe that we are just too dumb to absorb the facts ourselves, so we need a group of "experts" to interpret and explain the data to us...of course...these "experts" opinions are biased to their own agneda and worldview.
No longer were we just getting the facts but now our news consists primarily on opinion and editorial.  These experts tend to recite historically data rather than looking toward the future when formulating opinions.
People, for some reason, are drawn to gory accidents, to serial killers and robbers, other people’s misery, or the collapse in the economy.  Perhaps it’s not that pessimism sells...but rather that fear sells. 
Despite what these experts tell us, the world economy is not coming to a screeching halt anytime soon.
While it may be true that the entire global economy may be down a bit, we all live in the microcosm of our own reality.  How big would one new customer help to increase your sales?  How about 3 or 4?  How about a needed new product or service to sell?
The large companies of today were at one time small companies with just 2 or 3 employees.  Think Microsoft with Bill Gates and Paul Allen or Apple with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.  There are new opportunities everywhere you look!
Are you currently targeting the next Microsoft or Apple for your products or services?

My friend Blake has a saying that I’ve personally adopted...
"I’d gladly give up all the business I currently have for all the business I currently don’t have."
The pie seems pretty big...I believe that there are definitely enough slices for everyone...
Thank you so much for supporting OptiFuse where we believe you’re important regardless of how big you are today...

Jim Kalb

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