Seinfeld on Startups: Don’t Trust a Comedian

Seinfeld on Startups: Don’t Trust a Comedian

Remember Babu Bhatt?  Besides the fact that he testified against the 4-some in the final episode with his famous index finger point, he also ran a little restaurant in Jerry’s neighborhood.  The Dream Café was originally an eclectic spot with zippo traffic.

Jerry started patronizing the place and soon realized he was about the only one that did.  Being the helpful type, he told Babu that he should change his theme to feature his Pakistani background.  He would be the only Pakistani café in the area.

So one consumer’s opinion became the basis for an entire transformation of the restaurant.  Babu blew through his entire savings to create an authentic  Pakistani café.  Outside of Jerry, the comedian turned restaurant consultant, no one showed up.

So what can we learn from Babu?  Simply put – “It’s not about you, stupid.”  It’s about the consumer.  One anecdotal opinion does not make a trend or a case for a business model.  Listen to what the market is telling you in broader numbers and let that be your guide.  I’m not saying you need to send out a thousand surveys, but do a little homework.

If you are trusting a professional comedian to be your business advisor, it’s going to a long rode to ho.

Dan Beenken is the Director of the UNI Small Business Development Center


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