Learning from Jack Butcher
Within the last few months, I’ve stumbled across an individual named Jack Butcher. I first heard him on My First Million, but I have sought out many of the other podcasts he has been on just to follow what he has to say. He is a marketer that takes complex ideas and breaks them down into simple visuals that are easy to understand. He’s used his platform to advocate for many of the things I’m interested in like “build once sell twice”, content creation, and leverage. He recently put out a tweet thread called building principles that I really liked and I want to spend a couple of writes thinking about these concepts. They may not be consecutive but I’ll reference order as I go.
The first concept in the thread is the following:
“Value = doing things that other people don’t do, won’t do or can’t do.” He also includes a quote from Elon Musk - “You get paid in direct proportion to the difficulty of the problems you solve”.
I think that quote from Elon gets at the heart of why people don’t get paid the way they think they should. The more I study businesses, and particularly the more I work with venture capital, the more I realize how important solving problems is. There are so many ideas for businesses out there, but the ones that are truly successful are the ones that solve a specific problem. When you don’t solve a problem, you aren’t unique. There are lots of people who don’t solve problems. Solving a problem, particularly one that no one else can solve, is what separates you or a business from the crowd.
Since taking an interest in entrepreneurship, I have been very eager to begin and start something. I feel like I’m waiting for that idea that I think will just pop in my head that I’ll run with and will completely alter my course. The longer I go without that idea, the more I think that’s not what actually happens. I’m coming to terms with that and this thought reinforces why it’s important to start thinking through things, but not waste time on the wrong ideas. Figure out the problem you’re trying to solve and then pursue it. I haven’t found my problem yet but writing every day is getting me closer (I think).
Circling back to the original tweet, I think I disagree with his idea of value. Just because you do something others can’t or won’t do doesn’t make it valuable. I think often times there’s a reason people don’t do things. This makes me think of equity investing - there are some companies that people do not want to own and there’s a good reason for that! Now that isn’t always true. I just think there is wisdom in crowds, but discerning what that is and recognizing when the crowd is wrong about something - THEN make your move. I think when evaluating why others aren’t doing something is important. You may not want to do it either for the same reason.
My definition of value is the benefit to the user/customer beyond the price paid.
When you pay for something, there are expectations about what you will receive for that item. People say something is a good value when the price you pay is low in comparison to the benefits you receive from it. Value is what exceeds the basic expectations that come from the price paid.
People will want to buy whatever you’re selling when they think they are getting a good value. So that means you either need to price below what it’s worth or your offering needs to offer so much to the consumer that the price doesn’t matter. Realistically I think it’s a combination of both - but the focus on quality should be important. Price matters, but I don’t think as much as a quality offering. If you're going to build something, build it right.