“Little brown sausages, lying’ in the sand”

Philip Morgan

—?—Little brown sausages, lying in the sand

I ain’t no extra baby, I’m a leading man

Well, my parole officer would be proud of me

With my Olds 88 and the devil on a leash

—“Goin’ out West” by Tom Waits—?—

After a 4am wakeup call, cab ride, 45m airplane flight to Ibiza, another cab ride, 30m ferry ride, and third cab ride, Cheryl and I are on Formentera for about a week.

Ferry to Formentera

Uber and Lyft are about to pounce on the Spain market, but haven’t yet. Currently there are two ride-hailing apps—home-grown so to speak—available here: Cabify and MyTaxi.

As I understand it, Cabify is more Uber/Lyfy-like in that it’s deployed its own network of contract drivers, while MyTaxi is an app interface to the conventional, licensed cab system. We used Cabify and it was great.

Our driver was more pro than any Lyft driver I’ve ever experienced. He was already waiting when we rolled out of the hotel at 5:10am, and was wearing a white button up shirt and a skinny black tie. Sharp-dressed man! He helped us with our luggage, like any professional driver would.

My wife speaks fluent Spanish, so as we drove to the airport she got the lowdown on the local ride-sharing landscape and the imminent descent of Uber/Lyft on it.

Cabify isn’t operating (yet?) on the Balaeric Islands, so we spent the ride to our hotel on Formentera listening to our traditional cab driver radio back and forth with the dispatch. There was something oddly off-putting about that—the nasal honk of drivers and dispatch radioing back and forth about “shop talk”.

Makes you realize how much “app-ifying” the whole experience has changed things for the end-user.

When I moved to a new CPA recently, they asked what I was looking for in a CPA. I said—not fully clear on what I meant by it but doing my best to describe the feeling of what I wanted—“I want an Uber-like experience.” Of course, I did not mean that I wanted a company with a culture of sexual harassment, super shady ethics, and a certified asshole CEO.

I was trying to describe the experience of ease and simplicity that ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber have made mainstream.

When you cultivate really deep expertise, this is what you’re able to bring to your clients.

Not just competence.

Not just great results.

But an experience of being taken care of. Of the difficulty or risk or complexity or stressfulness being made less so. Of confidence in the process.

We’re on Formentera now, and it’s hot and sunny and humid and lovely. There are all these crazy people baking themselves in the sun. Little brown sausages, lyin’ in the sand.

For being a place that supposedly got wired for electricity only ~40 years ago, and given that packets make a round trip from computer > WAP > router > modem of some kind > ISP > underwater cable > Spain’s infrastructure > another much longer underwater cable > US-based infrastructure > datacenter somewhere in the US, Formentera has surprisingly decent internet!

I want to mention again the next offering of the market research workshop in Specialization School. It starts this October. It’s a 3-month process for getting clarity on the problems that your market faces so that you can more effectively connect and build trust with them.

If you are interested in this workshop, let me know.

The first offering of the workshop went really well. To me, the role-playing we did during weekly live Q&A calls was what led to the most breakthroughs for participants.

Danny Rus was in the workshop, and he gave me permission to share his feedback so you can have a sense of what he got out of it:

My biggest challenge with understanding your market (before I joined this workshop) was drawing a box around what the market might look like, and determining whether it was a thing that existed. I wasn’t 100% sure the workshop would address this challenge.

After completing the workshop, I found how to identify a market, particularly when it's not clear-cut. I also went from being a bag of nerves about speaking to strangers on the phone, to looking forward to it.

We were fortunate to have a small class, so the interaction with Philip and the other students were great, almost 1-to-1. Other than that, I liked that it was a weekly timetable - kept the pace up and also gave plenty of Q&A time with Philip.

Learning how to use the research tools was brilliant - the kind of thing I always want to make time for, but in this format you just have to dive in and learn, and the class setting was great for learning and sharing with each other.

The confidence part (if that's actually a part) went better than expected. I really didn't like the role-playing at first - where one of us plays business owner and the other plays interviewee, then roles switch. By the second class though I saw immediate benefit to it... I've heard this a million times, but it's always a surprise when it happens - you really do just learn by doing.

I walked away with a repeatable system I can (and will) try again; Met nice people; and the workshop was a good arena to talk about mine and others' businesses.

—Dannny Rus

If you're interested, let me know.