500 Years and Still Going Strong

In this month’s Ask the Wizards program, one of our subscribers, who’s around the radio industry, wrote in a timely question.

They asked:

“Our retail advertisers are starting to be distracted with headlines of high inflation, rising interest rates, markets tumbling and the ‘R’ word being predicted. What would you say to your own clients during these times?”

In its simplest form, the question asked is really, “What do you do when it feels like everything is stacked against you?”

And that question reminds me of the last five hundred years of Scottish whisky history.

By all accounts, Scotch whisky shouldn’t exist. 

Between wars, famine, prohibition, constant regulation changes by the government, greed, extortion, and global economy collapses; it’s a miracle we still have this fine drink.

For almost all of Scotch’s history, the deck has been stacked against it. And to be fair, hundreds and hundreds of distilleries didn’t make it. 

But, what about the ones that did? How did they hold on?

Grit and adaptability.

To be successful in business is to accept the fact that there will always be obstacles and that nothing ever stays the same for long.

The ability to pivot and overcome, coupled with the knowledge of how to exist in both plenty and scarcity, are of the greatest advantage.

Now, back to the original question. 

It’s true. We are currently facing high inflation, rising interest rates, and slowing markets. So, what would you say to that?

To that, I would clap my hands together and say, “Wow! What an opportunity!”

When things shake up and other companies hunker down, it creates openings for gritty, adaptable, little businesses to leapfrog over their competition in a way that wouldn’t normally be possible.

Now’s the time to stay awake and stay ready.

– Zac Smith, VC