#79 - Cabins Cabins Cabins
Company, a look ahead, and unreasonable
Rumours are circulating in cabin land.
Mysterious foreign entities buying up land; Multi-million pound cabin orders; not-so-secret plans are in motion up and down the British countryside.
Things are about to get interesting.
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The UK cabin market has been quiet up and until now. More Mum and Pop operations than you can shake a stick at but little in the way of brands.
We’re, of course, doing our humble best to change that. And I expect we’re about to get some company.
Music to my ears. It’s exactly what we need.
Competition gets a bad rep. The times it’s fatal are few and far between. More often the fatalities are due to a loss of nerve rather than anything to do with the fundamentals. It has a couple of big benefits.
1) It rises the tide and validates the space. The real competition is Netflix. That’s what we’re all up against. We have to convince people to abandon their sofa and TV, and venture into the British countryside.
It’s a niche market currently. Not many people do it. But to fulfil its potential it needs all the buzz it can get.
2) It can bring out the best in you. The wonderful first couple of lines of If by Rudyard Kipling spring to mind:
It you can keep your head whilst all around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you but make allowance for their doubting too,
Keep your head and trust yourself. Do that and competition is a wonderful accelerant. Not only does it provide an injection of motivation, but it also focuses the mind like nothing else.
The heat turns up, and you ask yourself- what are we really trying to do here? That’s what matters. Surf the wave, sure. But at the end of the day it’s your customer and what you do for them that matter.
A Look Ahead
Let’s start with what’s coming in the UK.
It’s not tricky to see where this space is going. There will be thousands of cabins in the next few years.
First there’s the black-cabin-with-big-window brigade. It won’t be long until we see one, if not all, of Getaway, Unyoked, and Raus. All well capitalised and scaling fast. 🇺🇸 , 🇦🇺 , and 🇩🇪 respectively.
There are the members clubs. Soho Farmhouse needs no introduction. But keep an eye out for Birch. New sites coming soon, each accompanied by many many cabins (yes, you guessed it: black with big windows).
And then there are the platforms. Landfolk are eying up a launch, fresh off a multi-million Euro raise. And how long until we see Hipcamp? Now they’ve acquired Coolcamping.com I guess it won’t be long.
This is all good news for Unplugged. Provided we keep our heads of course.
We’re trying to make a big a change in society and a rising tide will help wonderfully.
We are tackling digital detoxing. A different problem to the above. We sit somewhere between accommodation and a retreat.
Our stays are more awkward. Instead of a flexible, on demand calendar, we fix our stays at three days. But it's essential to help people take true time offline. Phones really do get locked away.
At first glance we’re not being reasonable. The world is moving towards flexible and on demand. But it doesn’t work for what we’re doing. And that’s ok.
The more we focus on solving for our specific mission the less we’re competing. Cabin ads all over the tube? Great, that’ll help stimulate conversation.
As for whether we’ll start being reasonable anytime soon? I hope not.
We’ve got a big job for pull off and, besides, reasonable is overrated. As the great George Bernard Shaw said:
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
My Week in Books📚
The Hype Handbook by Michael F. Schein
A fun read. Hype plays a big part in the world around us. Well worth understanding.
Thank you Matteo Grassi for the recommendation!
A Final Thought 💡
“Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”
– Tim Ferriss
A good rule for life.