My Dad loved Frank Sinatra.
Let me restate that: My Dad loved Frank Sinatra’s singing and the words to his songs.
Here’s a thought I had while driving through Kansas last month, as Frank Sinatra’s song, “New York, New York” came on the radio. I listened to Sinatra sing these lines during the song:
These little town blues
Are melting away
I’ll make a brand new start of it
In old New York
If I can make it there
I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you, New York, New York.
Driving through Kansas, all of a sudden, I realized: “This song’s baloney! Sinatra should have been singing about Kansas, because if you can make it in Kansas, you can make it anywhere.” When I got back to my office, a little research confirmed my gut feel:
There are 2,893,957 residents in Kansas, which computes to just over 35 residents per square mile (obviously not counting tourists, like me).
But in New York City, there are estimated to be 8,405,837 people, in roughly a 305 square mile area. That means that the population density of residents in New York City equals 27,560 people per square mile.
Do the math, folks, and old New York, New York is 787 times more densely populated than the state of Kansas! If I’m opening up a business, my odds of success are so much greater in New York City than in Kansas, given that I have so many more potential customers immediately outside my door, with much more disposable income.
Sure, there’s more competition in New York City, but it doesn’t compare to the challenge of having 7,870% less customers.
So, Mr. Sinatra, your song’s wrong.
The most innovative, creative entrepreneurs I’ve met are those who’ve created Destination Businesses in places where demographics say their businesses shouldn’t exist.
And that goes for Kansas, or South Dakota, or Mississippi, or anywhere else that is less populated.
But not New York City.
Until next week,