Zig vs. Zag
At the Kelsey Group's Directory Driven Commerce 2006 conference this week in Los Angeles, Seig Fisher, CEO and founder of Valley Yellow Pages articulated his company's strategy to the chagrin of the technorati in the audience.
See, Seig is old school. When I say old school, I mean one-room school house with a stern school marm teaching the three R's using a coal-oil lamp.
Valley Yellow Pages (which is one of the largest independent Yellow Pages publishers in the US) has a unique Internet strategy. They ignore the Internet and focus solely on their print directory business.
When every other publisher has tried at least one internet product set, Valley sticks ink on dead trees.
AT&T, Valley's largest competitor, paid roughly $100 million for the domain name YellowPages.com. Meanwhile, Valley's print books grow year after year and the profits roll in.
While I don't find this strategy particularly exciting or leading edge, it makes money. Loads of money.
The print strategy will probably not carry Seig for the next two decades, but by that time, a company with an Internet strategy will have paid through the nose for the deep market penetration that Valley has achieved.
See, it's all about picking a strategy and sticking to it.
That is one of the toughest business strategies of all.