Some posts are about domains, some posts are about life and some posts are about history. This one is all 3.
In every situation, problem or challenge the #1 job is identifying the single most important piece or the most time consuming piece or the piece of the puzzle that has the longest lead time. I call that 'The top of the Pyramid'. See if you get that one wrong, you automatically fail before you even start. To recover from that is difficult and you will always be wasting good energy recovering from not identifying the top of the pyramid.
It illustrates my example that if you sail the Atlantic from New York and your destination is London and you end up in AFRICA......your problem did not start when you landed on the shores of Africa. It started before you even sailed from New York. The top of the Pyramid! With just some proper planning and identifying a few things they could have made it to London. But when I tell people that almost ALL failure happens at the beginning, they just shrug their shoulders, laugh and continue on the path of failure. Remember, human nature wires us upside down and we need to be disciplined to break the cycle of failure.
When you identify the top of the pyramid right, your job is easier and chances of success is greater.
For example. The Internet. If you approach that wisely you would know that the domain name is the top of the pyramid. In this case it is a tough call. Because the 'Idea' could also be on the top of the Pyramid. Usually the choice is much more vivid and distinct. But on this one they both have a lot of weight. So then it becomes the chicken or the egg and we can debate that for years. And we have!
But this works even if you are planning a trip. The pyramid can be used to identify the 'Time Sensitive' things.
If I am going to Hong Kong the top of the pyramid for me would be getting the plane reservation. Next would be the hotel. You would do those things as far in advance as you had time. You would not leave it to the last minute because you may not get there in time if there are no seats left. You don't worry about the taxi to the hotel at this point. That is burried deep on the bottom of the pyramid. The LAST thing you might do. If you start there, that's called failure. You just need to identify the things that can get you in trouble. Things that are urgent. Things that are time sensitive and then place them in the pyramid in their proper order. Getting a taxi?? PLEASE! But that is how many operate. Get caught up early on things that don't belong in the discussion. It's #8 on my crude attempt at illustrating what 'I' see below. And as far as I am concerned, it is #15. It is something I don't have to focus on until all other plans are already in place and I can likely not plan it at all and still end up successfully at my destination or goal or the hotel may ask me if I need transportation when I make my reservation with them and then THEY do the work and THEY fill in one of the pieces of the puzzle. That's an example of the wind at your back. Or you might just call your travel agent and let them put it together. Many ways to climb the mountain. If I get the taxi right and something else wrong then what?? I'll tell you what....FAILURE each and every time.
Work harder or work smarter. It starts right here for me.
Now if you noticed in this pyramid or triangle the top of that can be removed to make it's own pyramid or triangle. No other piece there can do that. That means to me that the top piece is so important, has so much weight, that it can determine everything else that happens.
But many deal with human nature. They start at the bottom of the pyramid. They waste their time doing things with low importance at the cost of what is important. Now that does not mean you can't work at the bottom. But you do that during down time or when there is nothing to do or when you got the arger pieces on top done. Starting at the bottom will end up in failure 90% of the time or more. Starting at the top and identifying that single item gives you a minimum 50/50 chance and likely a much higher rate of success.
It was a MISTAKE for so many companies not to get their domain name first when it was affordable. Mistakes can be costly. Mistakes have to be factored in. Mistakes can be fixed. Sometimes. Sometimes blame comes into the equation and that dog just won't hunt!
I started making my 'Memorial Day Posts' back in 1996. When adult was the only home to a domain industry that had yet to be born. An aftermarket still years away. While I tried many avenues, closed minds were everywhere and the adult business was the only business focused on sales and making money other than perhaps Dell.com back then.
The minds were not only closed but each post was removed no matter where I was at or what industry I was trying to reach. There was no soapbox to blog from. But there was a common thread with adult and they were not only willing to listen, the smart ones focused on the numbers and the results and that gave me some street cred. Cred that I have been trying to add to and expand my reach over all this time.
So it really has not been decided. Domains vs idea. Pets.com vs Books.com. So you can see in this example, BOTH share the top spot. But why laugh at them, they all got half of the top of the pyramid. I know it was the half I did not have the talent or brains to accomplish let alone the know how. So since I recognized from the gate that one side of my top of the pyramid was not in play, I had to focus on the domain side which was in play and was just as important.
But think of this. The IDEA for Pets.com died a long time ago. But what remains is the domain. It cna be reinvented and rebuilt and experimented with until you catch lightning in a bottle. Think you can buy Pets.com today??
Not only that, but by buying time I had that time to get up to speed on developing and knowing how easy it would become in 20 years and how ridiculous it would be for me to waste my time on what would be antiques pretty quickly. So domains were the avenue that would lead to the other side of the mountain known as ideas and content.
One was time sensitive, one was not. One may have shared the top of the pyramid but for me, I just put it in the bottom corner until I was ready to deploy. That's not cybersquatting, that is risking everything you have on a 1000-1 shot that few believed would actually happen. It was my CHOICE how to climb this mountain and I have never varied off the trail I set. That so many of you set.
So one day they wake up and realize there is another side of the pyramid and they did not factor it in. That's the consequence of a bad decision. Of bad timing. Of not understanding about prioritizing and most of all, just being cheap, lazy and skipping important steps. Securing your location is #1 on the pyramid whether you are a pizza shop in a town, a booth at a trade show, a counter at a Jewelry Exchange. Location, Location, Location. Top of the pyramid for me. And if you are not there, you better be damn good so folks will go out of their way to make you a 'Destination'.
With ladders you start at the bottom and take one step at a time never trying to skip a single one until you reach certain plateus that become your new first step.. With pyramids, start at the top and swallow up as much of the project as you can on one bite of the apple. Then fill in the ones that are time sensitive, then the easy ones and before you know it the damn this is 9%5 built for success and you have not even broken a sweat.
Keep those two items in place and in focus and success will never be far away.
Again, What is cool is if you remove the top triangle and put it on its own, it is another pyramid. You can fill that pyramid up by getting the right answer in ANY situation.
This is the #1 tool in my toolbox. I use it many times a day. Dismiss at your own risk.
In closing, thanks to the troops past, present and future. YOU have given US the 'Top of the Pyramid' and many times thanklessly.
Have a GREAT Day!
'Success is just a matter of luck. Ask any failure.'