What Monopoly Can Teach Us About Business

What Monopoly Can Teach Us About Business

When I was growing up, there was no gay-ass farmville. We wouldn’t water each other’s virtual garden or sniff each other’s virtual ass. We’d play the game with the opponent right there and we’d laugh in their face if they lost. Just like asking a girl out, I was usually at the receiving end of the laughter.

When it came to Monopoly, I still have nightmares of Uncle Pennybags ransacking my mattress for those golden Five-Hundreds. Besides the game taking four hours to play, I just didn’t have the patience to secure the key properties. I bought the first decent place I landed on, fearing that I’d roll worse next turn. My spaces usually ended up scattered around the board. I’d even settle for the lowly Vermont, Connecticut, or Oriental Avenue. You know, the light blue properties between the Railroad and Jail. Talk about a shitty neighborhood. Basically, I was a slum lord.

One of my older friends, Mike, was always able to administer the Park Place-Boardwalk combo beatdown. He’d go to great lengths to secure these properties. Then, he’d beef them up with housing and hotels. Word to the wise, when someone calls rent on you for landing on a Pimped-out Park Place right after you snake-eyed it from their Boardwalk hotel, they’re really saying, “Would you please end the game by violently flipping over the board over?” As any good friend would, I happily obliged.

But this story isn’t about how many monopoly boards ended up in the ceiling fan, it’s about Mike’s winning strategy: focus. My friend picked a plan and stuck to it. Sometimes, he didn’t get Park Place or Boardwalk, but he’d always grab some expensive spaces and pump them with housing and hotels. Mike would only own a few properties but one night’s rent would cost you hundreds. He had a few Hilton’s when I had a lot of Embassy Suites ~~ ~~Holiday Inns ~~ ~~Super 8s extra couches. His few beat my many every time. Why? Because he focused his resources on one thing.

That’s the lesson that our company, Reflect7, is trying to learn. From JP’s A Crappy Vision is Better Than Lack of Vision, you can see that we’re spread pretty thin. Just like my monopoly game, we’ve scattered our resources over several projects. When we step back in review, we see that some of these projects pay the bills, some build our local brand, and some are shots in the dark. However, all of them are not something we want to be defined as. We don’t want to be a “Trucking Software Company”. We don’t want to be “A Mobile Software Consulting Company.” We’re like teenagers graduating from high school, we don’t know what we want to be. Right now, we’re just hitting the first two years of prereqs with hopes of making third year’s tuition.

So what I’ve learned is that purpose takes time and experience. That you shouldn’t consult away your resources because you won’t have any product equity to show for it. You probably won’t have the passion either. I’ve learned that a person who spends many years on one trade will have a better product than a person who has spent one year on many trades. That when we find our purpose, we’ll drop everything. I’ve learned that focus wins the game of Monopoly and the game of business.

If You Liked This Blog Post, You May Like:

  1. A Crappy Vision is Better Than Lack of Vision
  2. Patience, Success Take Years
  3. Compete on High-Touch

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-Brian Lambelet

PS. For nostalgia’s sake, here’s an old Monopoly board:

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