Boring Businesses Matter in Times of Crisis

Just a few short weeks ago, all talk on every financial and business channels was about technology companies and technology stocks hitting record highs.  In January, a “master of the universe” from Wall Street, Ray Dalio, proclaimed, “Cash is trash.”  Oops.  You blew that one, Mr. Dalio.  I am a fan of your book, though. Your videos on the economy are great as well.  Can’t believe you missed the cash thing.  If you ran a business that doesn’t quite scale like a hedge fund, say a label manufacturer, you’d understand why CIMITYM is my mantra: Cashflow Is More Important Than Your Mother.  (Sorry, Mom.  God rest your soul.  Miss you, especially now.)  Most businesses do not scale with a computer terminal.  We need to buy equipment, hire people to run that equipment, train them, produce stuff, sell it, and wait for customers to pay us.  Cash matters.

Now, the CEOs of companies like Sysco Foods (food distributor) and Tyson Foods are rock stars.  They are the ones keeping everyone fed.  They were doing that prior to this crisis but no one seemed to care.  Funny how we see what really matters when things get crazy. 

To all of you in “boring businesses,” thank you.  You are keeping this country from chaos.  Maybe clout will turn from the finance guys who pushed companies to move manufacturing overseas to save money to those who create real products with real people.  That is the silver lining in the coronavirus chaos.  Making stuff and getting stuff to consumers isn’t sexy but it matters more now than ever.  Stay healthy!

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