02 Apr 3 Entrepreneurial Observations From 24 Hours in Los Angeles
L.A. is a fantastic city, it has vibe, with a community unified by common goals. People want to make it in L.A. You meet so many who are chasing their dream. It's the opposite of instant gratification.
One of our Uber drivers Antony, left his home town Chicago on his own to chase his dream of becoming a Hollywood film director. This not an uncommon story to hear in L.A. Everyone is there with a purpose and they have a really clear intention as to why they're there, and I believe this is what creates such an amazing vibe in this city.
I enjoy the thought that they are the opposite of instantly gratified. They're prepared to work for low wages and just get by for a number of years in the hope they will make it. This is an inspiring thing to witness.
The Three key learnings I want to discuss are;
- How spontaneous de-regulation is transforming the human experience
- In Gentrification lies access and opportunity
- Excellence as a strategy
Picture this, Ben and I got off the plane. We'd been travelling for over 24 hours, we landed at L.A.X. The second you get to L.A.X airport you log-on to the free Wi-Fi, immediately you are presented with the option to download the Uber app as a bonus to receive more free Wi-Fi. (No, we didn't do that at the time, we decided to catch a standard taxi, which was really boring.) As soon as we got to our friend Corey’s place in Culver City he was like, "Why didn't you just Uber it?"
1. How Spontaneous De-regulation Is Transforming The Human Experience
Over the next 24 hours we spent our entire time getting from A to B catching Ubers. When we decided we wanted to go to the Santa Monica Pier or Venice Beach it was so easy to get there. All we had to do was jump on to the Uber app and we could pick up an Uber, normally waiting less than 5 minutes and we’d be on our way, traversing the city.
This platform is changing the way that we interact with people. In L.A Uber is providing a platform for determined young Americans who are trying to make it in the film industry to be their own boss, all they need is a car (supply), and 000’s of other young people who want to get around cheaply (demand). It has transformed the transport dilemma.
On the topic of spontaneous de-regulation, Platform model businesses are changing the way we behave. The only reason that our host was able to chaperon us around for 24 hours and not slave inside his own business is because he was able to jump on Craigslist and host some jobs, then hire some young talent to help him with his business for 24 hours while he was showing us the sights and still meeting his deliverables.
Another example of platform businesses and spontaneous de-regulation is Tinder. We went out for drinks that night and our host invited a local girl that he'd met on Tinder the week before. It was like their second or third date, and we ended up having a really cool night because we got to meet a local American Entrepreneur, a like-minded person. This has all happened through the Tinder app. Ben’s and my epic experience in L.A. was heavily reliant upon disruptive platform businesses.
We posted a photo on Facebook about the fact that we were in L.A. Straightaway one of our mentors commented on it and said, "You guys have to go Umani” (Gourmet burgers & craft beers). The next day we sought it out.
2. In Gentrification lies access and opportunity
L.A. is an incredibly vast city and has a lot of urban sprawl, this has led to a huge amount of what we call gentrification, which is the re-development of urban areas.
When you tell people that you're going to L.A. they're like, "It's a dangerous city, be careful." You grew up listening to N.W.A and Dr. Dre rap about Inglewood and South Side being hood suburbs that you wouldn't go to.
But that's all changed. In the short 16 years since Dre 2001 the album was released, the entire landscape has changed. Suburbs like Inglewood have gone from being undesirable, to spawning into an up and coming well-to-do area. This has allowed huge redevelopment. What this means is that the cultural growth has shifted away from prejudice, racism and violence, making way for a positive collective of like-minded young people, it's given them an opportunity to invest in property in a very expensive and growing city, and has fostered a different vibe.
It is so interesting to hear people in L.A. speak about how much their own city has changed in as little as four years. Entire suburbs are being redeveloped. Where in your own city lies an opportunity for you to invest in an area that's going to be gentrified? What areas near you in 10-15 years time will be completely redeveloped?
Because the growth in these gentrified areas will outstrip existing well to do ones. The upside they've seen in rental rates and property prices over the last 15 years is incredible. So if you are able to get in at a time 10 years previous, your return on investment would be enormous. And this is simply by accessing and allocating capital to an area that's going to be gentrified.
3. Excellence As A Strategy
L.A. is known for having some really high-end and luxury brands and retail areas. We spent a few hours shopping in some awesome high-end areas. I wanted a new t-shirt and Corey knew just the spot. A store in Hollywood called James Perse. If you walk into a James Perse store it's an amazing experience. Instantly you are greeted by friendly staff (who are well trained in sales), an on point store layout and a James Perse branded bottle of water. Immediately I knew why our Corey made us Uber it across the city with Jetlag to experience this, it was something that will keep me coming back because you want to talk about things that are excellent. Interestingly Ben, Corey & I all walked out with shopping bags. Excellence is a great business strategy.
Following James Perse, we grabbed dinner at Sasabune (the best sushi in L.A), owned and run by Chef Nobi Kusuhara for over 35 years. We opted for the ‘omakase’ (chef’s selection) with Saki. This was arguably one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten … I can see why people travel to experience Chef Nobi’s magic .. Because it’s excellent. Note: there is a sign at the front of the restaurant saying ‘No We Don’t Serve California Rolls’. Sasabune is a long standing business built on being the best.
The next day we ventured to Umami Burger (recommended by our mentor Gulliver) I knew we were in for a treat. I had to order “The Truffle Burger” because that's what they're known for. The service is just unbelievable.The waiter worked out we were Australian and hadn't tried a root beer, he was so excited for us to try it he actually paid for our root beer from his own pocket. That kind of excellent service, combined with the high-end finish on their store, and the second to none product is what their business is built on. I believe people want that experience just as much as they want the amazing burgers.
In our final hour in L.A Ben & I were sitting outside The Grove (a super nice shopping center in downtown L.A.) waiting for our Uber at the valet. We couldn’t help but notice the commotion as the valet parked two nice cars. One was a red Lamborghini and the other one was a Tesla Model S. It was cool to think about the way that Lamborghini positions itself in the market, because while we were waiting for our Uber for a couple of minutes there was a bunch of young kids crowded around the cars. One of them would've only been about 7 years old running and dancing around the Lamborghini saying, "I can't wait to afford one of these. I want one of these”. From a marketing perspective, who wouldn’t want a bunch of future potential customers dancing around our products screaming, “I can’t wait to have one of these”. I find it interesting to think about Lamborghini’s position here. This is a pretty awesome long-term strategy.
Excellence is a strategy, it's a real thing so how can you incorporate that into your business for a long-term growth strategy? It's really something to think about, how not focusing on the instant gratification; rather excellence can lead to long-term sustainable success.
Thanks to our host Corey for an amazing 24 hours in a city worth talking about.
WAIT ... BEFORE I LET YOU GO
I forgot to mention that the purpose of our trip is RESEARCH. Ben & I are here to attend the Click Funnels Hacking Live 2016 Event in San Diego. If you’d like a copy of our event notes from every session, leave your email in the form below and I will make sure you get a copy, when I’m finished typing them up.
Reach out to me if you have any questions or suggestions... You can add me on Facebook here.
Thanks in advance,
Director + Alchemist
P: 1300 030 343