Visiting New York City recently, I stopped into Rice to Riches. If you’re hungry for the best rice pudding on the planet, you’re at the right place. If you’re looking for anything else, like burgers – you’re out of luck.
The metallic exterior of the building was sleek and trendy, seamlessly fitting into its SoHo neighborhood. Meantime, the interior was inviting, like my outstanding Hazelnut Chocolate Bear Hug rice pudding.
I could have had Fluent in French Toast, Almond Shmalmond, or Sex Drugs and Rocky Road, because transforming rice pudding is what they do.
So good at it that they can have a sign out front that says “Dozens of Delicious Flavors and 3 Shitty Ones.” Not something IBM would do.
One of the company founders I interviewed in my book, How They Did It: Billion Dollar Insights from the Heart of America was Mike Domek, founder of TicketsNow, an online service connecting buyers and sellers of event tickets. Mike did one thing very well and it paid off. The entertainment business was a passion Mike had since childhood when he was inspired by Wrigley Field in Chicago, walking in and looking out over the perfect green field awaiting. That inspiration ultimately led to the creation of a company that hit $300 million in gross ticket sales by the time Mike sold to Ticketmaster in 2008.
Also in New York with me for the Entrepreneurial Bash, my colleague Olivia popped into another specialty shop called Pommes Frites. Customer can order fries, fries, or more fries along with loads of dipping sauces including flavors like sweet chili, curry ketchup, and roasted garlic mayo. Olivia tried six of the sauces, and gives the place two thumbs up.
It’s easy to think specialization dead-ends you, but I think it’s actually the opposite. Look at Twitter that only tweets and Groupon that only offers daily deals. Zero in, focus – and see how your market actually expands.