Seinfeld on Startups: Focus like the Soup Nazi

Seinfeld on Startups: Focus like the Soup Nazi

By Dan Beenken, Advance Iowa Orginally Published on IASourcelink Blog Feb 14, 2013

Even if you haven’t seen every episode 2 or 3 times (there can’t be many of you), everyone knows the Soup Nazi.  I’m not going to encourage you to take on his customer service skills.  But I love the guy’s focus.  Soup.  That’s it.  And when George didn’t get his bread?  Look out!

He didn’t mess around with a breakfast menu, desserts, or even tables to sit at.  You come in, walk up to the counter, order from 7 or 8 soup choices, pay, and get out.  And yet the line was out the door and down the street.  And if you screw up the process?  “No soup for you!”

When you focus like that, it better be pretty good.  I’ll trust Newman’s gut that the Mulligatawny was legit.  His sprint to get the last of the soup as the place was closing is all the proof I need.

Limit the menu and put everything you’ve got into it.  Selling fireworks, guns, dog food and milk out of the same store only works if you are in the middle of nowhere North Dakota.  Otherwise, it’s best to do one thing and do it well.

When you have limited resources, as most startups do, you can’t be all things to all people.  Wal-Mart and Wall Drug have that market cornered.

As Kramer put it “You suffer for your soup.  You demand perfection from yourself, from your soup”.

Find that same passion.  Look to the Soup Nazi.


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