business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

"I'd rather be lucky than good," Lefty Gomez, the Hall of Fame baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees and Washington Senators, once said. (It is, in fact, one of my favorite quotes, because it sort of defines my life and career.)

Luck is a good thing. So is timing. Of course, as I've often said here on MNB, one has to be prepared to take advantage of both when they occur. We can't let the moment pass.

Such an example come from the Seattle Times, where there's a story about a bus startup company called Skedaddle, which, the story says, was created "to allow people to create bus routes to wherever they please," with a mission of letting users “ride to amazing destinations with inspiring people.” The average fare runs to around $50, and Skedaddle works with high-end bus companies around the country to book the routes and passengers.

Over the past two months, Skedaddle - described as "a tiny company" - has suddenly gotten very busy. Lots of bookings, often from places where they'd never done business before. And interestingly enough, no matter where the bookings were being made, they all seemed to be going to Washington, DC. And the majority of the bookings were being made by women.

Talk about timing. The wave that Skedaddle is riding has been created by the Women’s March on Washington, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, the day after the Trump inauguration festivities. (Skedaddle cannot be the only bus company getting a Trump bump; the reports have been that about 400 bus permits have been requested for Friday's inauguration, while some 1,200 bus permits have been requested for Saturday.)

The challenge for Skedaddle will be to see if it can build on this flurry of activity and turn it into a sustainable business model. The Times writes that "the Women’s March on Washington is just the sort of grass-roots, viral event that Skedaddle was built for," and there is a social media aspect to the company's marketing that could serve it well in what could be a rancorous political climate.

Timing is good. Luck is good. Turning those two elements into a long-term and successful business takes real, persistent and consistent work. The list of companies that have managed to accomplish this is, unfortunately, a lot shorter than the list of businesses that have been unable to and have gone out of business.

Watching Skedaddle's progress will be an Eye-Opener.
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