The Forgotten Industries

Within the realm of “hot startups” and “amazing technology” on the internet are some forgotten industries.

No, these industries won’t be prompting you to write a review about that blade of grass in that new dog park in San Francisco while geo-tagging your whereabouts while you do it so that their application might be able to offer you a discounted grass shake from the local shake shop … and then filter the image of the grass shake so that you can share it with your friends.

These industries are also not filled with multi-billion-dollar VC funds handing out multi-million-dollar rounds of VC funding to high school kids (and a dog) to build the next great social-media-geo-tagging-geo-fencing-filter-inducing-vomit-forming startup. Oh no.

No, these industries are older and more entrenched than that, but the possibilities within are almost endless.

My life is dominated by my family, my faith, and my work. Luckily, all three come together at various points.

Both agricultural and church software is in a woeful state for the sorts of customers that 37signals targets in business. Now there is a lot of overlap to be had with applications like Basecamp and Campfire and the groups I am talking about, but right now there is also an extreme need for newer, better applications tailored specifically for the needs of churches and small-to-mid-sized family farms.

That forgets completely about the fact that there is always the need for better software and better services everywhere. I was reminded of this when looking around for RAM to upgrade my MacBook Pro and Mac mini. I spent over an hour looking around for the best prices but it really came down to what retailer I trusted the most. Which place did I have the best experience with in the past, regardless of the price.

Think about anything you do within that context as well. It isn’t enough to just have a great product to sell, but you want to also have a great relationship for your customers to enter into. It is mutually beneficial on both sides, which should make it even easier, but so many times the relationship is neglected on one or both ends and it ends poorly.

So many parallels.

So I’m asking for other people out there to turn an eye, or two, over here and spend some time and effort into looking into how these industries might be best served. I think there is a huge potential to get some great products up and running.

Maybe I’ll just do it myself.