As I write this, the market price for a single bitcoin is $1,259 on the Mt. Gox exchange. It was around $152 on November 1. If you don’t understand the sentence I just wrote – don’t worry. Bitcoin is a virtual currency that is still being sorted out by individuals, markets, banks and government. In watching all of the buzz around Bitcoin I find myself thinking about small businesses and the ups and downs they experience in much the same fashion as the bitcoin phenomenon.
I remember when I started Bridge Capital. I was full of energy and pure optimism about what the future held for my new enterprise. We experienced growth as the market rose and experienced some failures as the market fell. There was nothing special about Bridge other than it was moving with the crowd and not really mapping a path of its own. The bitcoin movement is not only experiencing the wild swings that I have experienced running Bridge Capital but it is doing something that many businesses miss the opportunity to do – something different. Granted bitcoin is not the only currency that is digital it does seem to have an attraction to it that many other digital currencies do not have.
So what about your business? What makes it different compared to the crowd? Not in the specific product or service it delivers but maybe in the way in which it is delivered or experienced by customers. In our business we can get caught in the grind of managing small details which can result in us losing sight of higher level things such as “what are we doing to be a leader in our market”. Are we the $152 bitcoin, the $1,269 bitcoin or the another virtual currency that really doesn’t matter much in the market?
As I watch the bitcoin activity I eagerly await the results. Will bitcoin crash through the floor or become a new standard? The chances of either appear equally likely – just like every other business out there.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle
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