Shredders

Sent by Jonathan Stark on August 5th, 2019

Last week I spent 3 days at “guitar camp” with a few hundred guitar players. 

Not just guitar players, but electric guitar players. 

Not just electric guitar players but shredders

In fact, it gets even more niche than that... I’d say about half of the people there played the same brand of guitar!

I was attending Vai Academy in Glen Cove Long Island. Steve Vai has endorsed Ibanez guitars for many many years, so I suppose it should come as no surprise that about half the audience was carrying an Ibanez. 

And I literally mean carrying... one of the most striking visuals of the experience was that up and down the hallways and in every corner of the hotel (including the bathrooms!) seemingly every attendee had a guitar strapped on and ready to play. 

I’ve never seen anything like it, and that’s saying something considering I went to Berklee. Even at music school, people didn’t normally walk around with guitars strapped on, and Ibanez certainly did not have half of the market.

Anyway...

What I’m trying to illustrate here is how incredibly laser-focused this audience was.

Of course everyone’s an individual, and obviously there were differences, but there was a gigantic amount of overlap in the demographics and psychographics and world view of this audience. 

As a member of this particular tribe, it was blazingly obvious to me how hard it would be for an outsider to sell something to this group. The slightest mispronunciation of shredder jargon and you’d be toast. Trying to connect with them from the outside would require a Herculean effort. 

The flip side of this is that an insider could sell something to them pretty easily. This is because an insider would automatically empathize with the other members of the group. Trust would be built very quickly. And coming up with business ideas would be as simple as opening your eyes and paying attention.

I have no interest in selling stuff to shredders, but without even trying I noticed a half a dozen things that look like potential business opportunities. 

Here’s the thing...

Forget about your resume and your skills and your craft for a second and ask yourself this:

“What tribes am I in?”

Consider hobbies, interests, politics, religion, sports, charity, etc. Don’t limit yourself to business related groups. And especially don’t exclude areas that you believe “can’t afford you” or people who “have no money”.

Got a tribe or three? Hit reply and let me know what they are.

Yours,

—J