Inspiration from Danny Meyer

I recently finished Danny Meyer’s “Setting the Table.” I wish I found this sooner (I think the book is more than 10 years old). I found this book by following a discussion on twitter. Josh Brown, @reformedbroker, was talking about getting the chance to meet Danny which sparked a conversation in his replies. Someone mentioned this book as being the best business book ever written, which prompted me to head to amazon and buy it on Kindle. To me, this is what makes twitter invaluable. Not sure how else I would have found this gem of a book.

I highlighted and saved a ton of clips from this book.

One concept that I wanted to share was his idea to ask the question, “whoever wrote the rule that ______”, as a way to reframe or support a new hypothesis. I feel like this is especially poignant for people trying to bring an idea to market.

It’s a fun idea to play with. Some of these are related to BS.W and others are just scattered thoughts.

  • Whoever wrote the rule that office design needs to take 8 weeks?

  • Whoever wrote the rule that a slide deck has to follow the same shitty format that your customer doesn’t care about (company history, logo collection slide, number of customers…) ? (h/t Anthony Iannarino,

  • From Danny, whoever wrote the rule that fine dining couldn’t be enjoyed in a comfortable, relaxed setting?

  • Who wrote the rule that bidding out every piece of a job is the best way to get the outcome you are after?

  • From the Discovery Land Company folks, who wrote the rule that ultra, high-end golf resorts need to require sports jackets at dinner? What if you encouraged music, no dress code, flip flops at the bar, and a “do whatever makes you happy” attitude at a private club?

  • Who wrote the rule that we should congratulate companies for raising money? Nobody celebrates a guy who takes out an SBA loan to start a fence company.

For anyone that “serves” customers, I think you would get a lot of value out of this book. The way that he thinks about hospitality could be a real edge in how you compete for customers in any business, but my mind went directly to our broker friends. What hospitality elements could you bring to your business that might set you apart from your competitors? Anyone can pull a list of spaces and go tour them.

Inspiration from Danny Meyer

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