A jar of your own toenail clippings

Philip Morgan

I'm back! Miss me?Oh, where was I?I fell into an Internet k-hole reading about people who collect their own fingernail and toenail clippings. Yes, there are photographs. Yes, I almost threw up in my mouth multiple times.There's a few things on reddit (naturally) about people who do this.There was even an article on Medium (of course) about someone who did this for like 5 years, then sent the clippings to his fiancé and you won't believe what happened next!I don't even want to know what 4chan has to offer on this topic.My overall impression of this... not sure if phenomenon or freakshow is the right word... is that some people think it's kind of strange but cool, endearing, or interesting that someone would collect their own fingernail/toenail clippings.And other people are completely repulsed by even the idea of doing so.The world is a big place, full of all kinds of people.Most niches are bigger on the inside. What appears to be a tiny market of potential clients, once you get inside it, becomes larger.Either those clients need more than you thought they needed, or they connect you to other prospects that are "invisible" from the outside but have very similar needs, or something else causes the market to magically expand once you get inside it.I have a hunch that this is especially true of "un-sexy" companies and industries.Let's do some quick and dirty research and math. Follow along in a separate browser tab if you're so inclined.Google Old Dominion Freight Line. Pretty un-sexy website, eh? Never seen this company in TechCrunch, have you?Figure out how many employees Old Dominion Freight Line has. Do your own math for now, I'll show you mine in a bit.Companies like Old Dominion can generate between $100k and $200k in revenue per employee. Let's use a middle number of $150k per employee. Do the multiplication of # of employees x revenue per employee.What total revenue do you come up with?I used owler.com and linkedin to get some numbers. Owler says 17,543 employees, and 17,543 x $150k = $2.63 billion in total yearly revenue.Owler also says that total revenue is $3 Billion (another source says 2.79B, which is close enough for government work).How much custom software do you think that a company like Old Dominion uses?I'm going to guess A LOT. Not sexy stuff, but I'd bet money they see better software as a competitive advantage.I'm not saying that you should focus on transportation or logistics companies, but I am saying that if your only experience of a company like Old Dominion is driving past their trucks on the highway, you're not seeing the full opportunity that someone who focuses on those kinds of companies would see.Now imagine that you were blindfolded, driven in an unmarked van somewhere, and then when the blindfold was removed you found yourself standing in front of the leadership team of Old Dominion Freight Line in Thomasville, North Carolina. The line at the top of your printed meeting agenda says Discussion of Cost-Saving Opportunities.Now imagine that by some magic, you painted a verbal picture for them of how custom software could save them an eyebrow-raising amount of money each year. You had their complete attention for the entire 90 minute meeting. They ask you a lot of tough questions which you answer easily, and if you don't know you say "I don't know but I will find out and get back to you tomorrow". As you wrap up the meeting, the CTO asks if you could put together a proposal for them that would outline some specifics and a rough cost so they can decide whether to fund a proof of concept. The CEO thanks you on your way out the door.That's what it's like to operate from deep, niche-specific expertise.Generalists see a tractor trailer truck in the lane next to them on the highway.Specialists see a revenue goldmine.I'd be delighted to help you develop this "opportunity x-ray vision": /positioning-course/Talk to you soon,-P