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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Just Gas

Comments (6)

Creating companies from scratch is really difficult.  Every successful entrepreneur knows the daily challenges and struggles that conspire against him.  Sometimes the entrepreneur thinks to himself "there must be an easier way."  A long time friend and successful entrepreneur – Steve Munroe – provides a creative solution.

I don’t know if I ever explained to you my premise for a business model whose main goal is to own a business that squelches the entrepreneurial drive.  It is called Just Gas, the premise being that I would buy a Marina on the lake and just sell gas, nothing else.  By naming the business Just Gas, it would force me to not expand into other areas, or maybe leave enough room on the sign so you could expand after a couple of years and sell Ice also, thus: Just Gas and Ice.  But that’s it.  The focus would force the expansion, entrepreneurial part of the brain to shut down, thus decreasing stress and increasing quality of life.  That’s the premise.

Anyway, if you pay attention to this groundbreaking business philosophy, you will begin to see examples of it everywhere.  And, to tie this whole ramble together, my favorite example was a restaurant in the Dominican Republic called Solo Pollo, Just Chicken.  Brought a tear to my eye.

  • Fred

    My favorite local (Silicon Valley) example of this focused strategy is a little company called, “Just Water Heaters”.

    I occasionally see their vans around town and get a chuckle since their tag line is:

    “For ALL your plumbing needs.”

  • http://www.lovest.at Jack

    Was it just to the chicken though?

  • http://learntoduck.com micah

    I walked by a store near Murray Hill in NYC called Just Shades. They sold nothing but window shades. And, then there was my favorite JustBalls.com that sold nothing but balls.

  • Don Jones

    Excellent 'recipe' for staying close to the original vision. It is so easy to try to expand product/service offerings beyond the original vision, instead of doing the hard and unglamorous work of making existing systems work better.

  • http://timwolters.blogspot.com Tim Wolters

    Excellent! Don and I occasionally have the same discussion which usually starts with a laundry list of things we need to tackle and ends with, “the next time we do this, let's start with an idea that doesn't take two years to build out…” It is a tough row to hoe, but ultimately rewarding in so many ways.

  • http://www.tech-surf-blog.com Graeme Thickins

    according to Dave Cohen's latest post (on the shutting down of ProtectMyPhotos), the founder, Cliff Shaw, said that naming it so narrowly is something he specifically regrets:
    http://coloradostartups.com/2007/12/22/cliff-shaw

  • Fred

    My favorite local (Silicon Valley) example of this focused strategy is a little company called, "Just Water Heaters".

    I occasionally see their vans around town and get a chuckle since their tag line is:

    "For ALL your plumbing needs."

  • Jack

    Was it just to the chicken though?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/don_jones3607 don_jones3607

    Excellent 'recipe' for staying close to the original vision. It is so easy to try to expand product/service offerings beyond the original vision, instead of doing the hard and unglamorous work of making existing systems work better.

  • Tim Wolters

    Excellent! Don and I occasionally have the same discussion which usually starts with a laundry list of things we need to tackle and ends with, "the next time we do this, let's start with an idea that doesn't take two years to build out…" It is a tough row to hoe, but ultimately rewarding in so many ways.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/micah105 micah105

    I walked by a store near Murray Hill in NYC called Just Shades. They sold nothing but window shades. And, then there was my favorite JustBalls.com that sold nothing but balls.

  • Graeme Thickins

    according to Dave Cohen's latest post (on the shutting down of ProtectMyPhotos), the founder, Cliff Shaw, said that naming it so narrowly is something he specifically regrets:
    http://coloradostartups.com/2007/12/22/cliff-shaw

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