Saturday, May 1, 2010

Entrepreneur or Vulture?

Interesting story in today’s Wall Street Journal that fits my entrepreneurship lens, not to mention my love of all things in the food industry. The story, Taking Advantage of the Wine Glut by Lettie Teague, tells the classic entrepreneurial story of finding a problem (or pain) in the marketplace, and devising a unique solution that removes the pain. While one of the winemakers in the piece says that "A guy like Hughes has a business model that revolves around other people's misfortunes… he's like a vulture feeding on carrion," … to me, Mr. Hughes is simply an entrepreneur who utilizing his own unique skill-set, found a unique way to solve an on-going problem in an industry. Calling him a “vulture” would mean that other companies such as and are of the same ilk which clearly they are not. I think that he is simply a guy who had found a business model that works... and the winemakers who get cash for their product would probably quietly and confidentially agree with that assessment. Because after all, it is their choice whether to sell to Hughes or not.

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