267-Ton Toothpicks

As soon as I board the plane, I start scanning for the seat I want. (If you can’t tell, I’m flying Southwest) If at all possible, I’m looking for a window seat that isn’t right above the wings.

A window seat so that I can lean away from the unfortunate passenger that ended up in the middle, giving us both a little more room.

Not above the wings so that I can gaze out to the land below and get an entirely different perspective of this world we live in. 

It doesn’t matter if you take off from JFK in New York City or LAX in Los Angeles, I’m always amazed that within minutes you are flying over sparsely populated country. 

Most of this country is…country. And that is a perspective that most of us don’t get a chance to see very often.

As I look out the window, I see windmills that look like frilly topped toothpicks stuck into a cheese and veggie platter. Those small little toothpicks are about 262 feet tall with 148 foot long blades with a total weight of 267 tons.

Perspective is incredible.

Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh is where two rivers converge to form a third. There’s a 841-foot-high skyscraper on one side of the rivers, and a football and baseball stadium on the other side. This is the city.

A Fifty-eight-minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh will get you to where my parents live; a little 70-acre plot of ground. I say little because their neighbors have nearly 600 acres (Pittsburgh is 410 acres).

Perspective is amazing.

My parent’s friends think they live on a massively large plot of ground, and compared to their quarter acre lot, that’s true. But ask the airline pilot about a 70-acre piece of ground and he will say it’s a postage stamp.

Perspective is invaluable.

You’re not seeing your business as others do. You see it close up and it looks big to you. You see it every day and so many of the daily tasks look important to you.

Your friends don’t see your business the way you do.

Your neighbors don’t see your business the way you do.

The person with a 30,000-foot view, most certainly, does not see your business the way you do.

Does it matter?


You are likely addressing concerns that your customer does not have. And your customer may be frustrated by things in your business that you can’t see.

There is a solution to this problem. 

You need outside eyes on your business. Usually, the people these eyes belong to are called consultants. And one of the biggest values a consultant brings to the table is that they aren’t you.

That’s part of the usefulness of taking a class at Wizard Academy; perspective.

And if you get outside eyes on your business to give you perspective, trust them when they tell you those are 267-ton windmills, not toothpicks. 

– Zac Smith, VC