Why I don’t sell Kimchi

Wink kimchi Years ago, I put together a really cool plan to get into the artisinal kimchi business (with a tofu sideline, of course). What, you didn't know there was an artisinal kimchi business?

Here's the first draft of our packaging (click the picture to see the engaging copy).

Why did I stop before I really started?

Because distribution can define your business. The distribution that book publishers offered me seemed more highly leveraged, approachable and yes, fun, than the idea of driving from bodega to deli, hawking my wares.

Just about every business is limited (and thus valued) by its distribution, by the way it is able to get paid for what it makes. Direct mail is different than a salesforce which is different than retailers… And while the food business attracts tons of enthusiastic people, the distribution challenges are significant.

On the other hand, once you overcome the distribution hurdle in a difficult environment, you have the market all to yourself. The dip that's in between you and the amateurs (the dip you got through, congratulations) gives you insulation and enables your business to thrive.

As is so often the case, there's no right answer, there's just a choice.