Walking in Memphis

I just returned from a trip to Memphis to visit friends. We spent the first few days downtown at an excellent hotel, the Talbot Heirs Guesthouse. Downtown Memphis is very walkable and if you don’t feel like walking you can just take the Main Street Trolley. The people were friendly and accomodating just about everywhere we went.

The interesting thing about the town is that it has been up and down. At one time, downtown was vibrant, but underwent a decline beginning in the 1970s. There are numerous empty store fronts, deserted blocks, and panhandlers roaming the streets. But, there are many historic and beautiful buildings. There are rental properties advertising condominiums. And there are some fantastic restaurants. The famous Beale Street, home of the blues, is right downtown, along with the Gibson guitar factory, an NBA stadium, and a minor league baseball stadium.

Now, the question is: if you build it, will they come? There’s little difference between this and software. If you build a website, will people visit? Will you make money actually selling something or by advertising on your site? If you build software, will people buy it? How will you market it? Will you pay to advertise on web sites, in magazines, or at trade shows? Like anything else, things take time. Patience is important, but so is constant action to improve the likelihood of success. And once success has been achieved, never stop trying to improve. The competition will always be after you. Don’t have any competition? If you’re successful and have proven that there’s a market for what you’re doing, the competition will come.

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