“When it comes to a watch’s quality, the truth is that the movement sucks ass or the movement kicks ass. With me, you are going to get the heavy metal answer from the heavy metal dude.”
Dan Spitz, former lead guitarist for thrash metal band Anthrax, has sold more than 15 million albums, been nominated for 3 Grammy’s, created over 10 studio albums – and now he is recognized as one of the best watchmakers in the world. After leading one of the greatest metal bands of all time, he abruptly departed Anthrax and pursued numerous courses of study to master the art of watchmaking.”
Can Mom-and-Pop Shops Survive
By Adam Davidson
The New York Times
“I recently stopped by the oldest Village business I could think of, McNulty’s Tea & Coffee Co., which was established on Christopher Street in 1895. David Wong, whose family bought the place in 1980, didn’t have any savvy business secrets. When I asked how business had changed since the ’80s, Wong shrugged. “It’s about the same,” he said. What? Back then, nobody was talking about fancy coffee. I remember avoiding walking on this block for fear of being propositioned.
Wong clarified himself: Yes, the neighborhood had changed drastically. So had its taste for upmarket coffee. McNulty’s used to stock a fairly small selection; fancy beans, like French Roast Java, sold mostly during Christmas. Now their big sellers include Puerto Rican Yauco Selecto, which goes for $26 a pound. But demand has grown at just about the same rate as the rise in rent and the price of beans. And the Wongs have done little to innovate. McNulty’s had the same disheveled charm that it always did, from the beautiful Chinese tins that held tea leaves to the wall of rubber stamps they use to mark everything. It doesn’t sell coffee online. “We’re not way richer or poorer,” he insisted. “We’re about the same.” And this didn’t bother him.
I mulled the coffee shop’s if-it-ain’t-broke business plan as I walked up Hudson Street to Imperial Vintner, a liquor store that has been in the same skinny storefront for about 70 years. Its manager, Louis Walker, who has been there for the last 27 of them, was happy to reminisce about the old neighborhood (“We’re the only mom-and-pop left,” he said) before revealing that Imperial hasn’t changed much, either. It has also survived partly because its new neighbors happily pay a lot more for what it’s selling. “They like the good stuff,” Walker said, pointing to a bottle of Château Pétrus. It cost $2,000. “And it sells,” he said, smiling somewhat incredulously. I asked Walker why the store still looks so threadbare. It made sense 20 years ago, but didn’t Imperial want to entice its richer customers? He waved me off. “You make it yuppie, nobody will want to come,” Walker said, improbably. “They like the old-fashioned way.” “
Note: There’s a great saying in business. Small companies are always looking to get bigger, and bigger companies are always looking to get smaller.
Something I’ve been talking to a lot with people about in regards to goals. Define what you really want out of and for your life and you’ll redefine what it means to be successful.