February 3, 2018

Pinball wizards

Long time reader and private Slack member Mike Julian sent in a fascinating article that explores the hyper-specific niche of pinball machine repair technicians (shared with permission):


I ran across this article and thought you'd like it: https://thenewstack.io/maintaining-legacy-will-repair-pinball-machines/

My favorite bit:

Clay Harrell, who writes the Pinball Repair Tips & Tricks webzine, told them that “Nobody sells a working pinball machine. If it was working, they wouldn’t sell it. If you buy one, it’s always broken.” And the bigger problem was maintenance, according to one pinball technician who talked to the Journal. “I always hear people say, ‘I bought a machine and I can’t get a repair guy to come out.'” At the time a directory of pinball repair technicians listed just 750 — in all 50 states — charging up to $150 an hour.

So there's not only a magazine dedicated to repairing pinball machines (not just pinball enthusiasts, but people who need a pinball machine repaired), but there's even a directory of people who repair pinball machines?! “Arcade owners” is already pretty niche, but this just dives head-first into that rabbit hole, eh? I had no idea such a problem even existed.


Thanks, Mike!

The global marketplace is an incomprehensibly large and complex environment. Rabbit holes within rabbit holes within rabbit holes. Turtles, all the way down.

As specialization expert Philip Morgan says:

“The question isn’t whether your target market is big enough. The question is whether it’s small enough.”

Selling to everyone is indistinguishable from selling to no one.



P.S. Friends don’t let friends bill hourly. Gift options available at checkout-> http://hourlybillingisnuts.com