Master class in American business

Seriously.

Are you interested? It’s the best study of successful small businesses I could even imagine.

It’s disguised as a food program on the Food Network.

It’s called “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” The host is the rambunctious Guy Fieri, who is in the restaurant business himself and is currently one of the hot stars on the network.

The food you’ll see is great, but for the master class you need to look beyond it.

Watch and listen to the people who own, run, and cook at the joints that are featured. The one thing that they all have in common is that they make stuff that people want. People flock to these restaurants, which are not, most of them, complicated, trained-chef-driven fancy pants eateries.

A lot of these places are second and third generation family businesses. They have mastered what they do and all have made a brand out of themselves.

What they do is give their customers something that they value. And listen to the way the customers talk about what they are getting.

I’ve seen a couple dozen episodes now and the thing that is common to all of these very successful small businesses is the immense care and craft that goes into making a product that customers value.

Whatever business you are in, interested in, or about to start, this program, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” will teach you the single most important lesson about making it successful. It is not just about food and the restaurant business. The business lesson is more fundamental than that.

Nor is it about the accounting or financing or managing aspects. It is about the much more vital ingredient of crafting a product, which in the end is deeply intuitive but also objective. It is the essential element that makes a business work.

Pass it on.

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