The Third Chair


How does a hair salon grow?

More advertising?

More giveaway campaigns?


Social media marketing?

Content marketing?

How do we get, get, get!

It’s all about us.

The way you get more customers, more revenue, more growth…

is by focussing all of your attention on chair 3.

Making the experience for the person in chair 3 so ridiculously over the top that they’ll tell their friends.

And then when their friends come, you do the same.

Two things that need pointing out:

  1. It doesn’t have to be expensive. ‘’Ridiculously over the top’’, means the experience is extraordinary. You can achieve that with astonishing emotional labor.. and guess what.. that’s free. Free from capital, but not from consideration, empathy, compassion, and humanity.

  2. It’s a tempting mistake to focus on all the people who aren’t in chair 3. The people who’re on the app, who’re searching for a barber on Google and the people who might not like it. In an effort to not upset them, we’ll water down our service. And by focussing on the people not in chair 3, you’re stealing attention from the person in chair 3.

We don’t have that right. Our job is to make the world a little better for a few of our users. And in order to keep doing that our revenue engine needs to function well.

However, when we start optimizing the revenue engine we lose sight of the fact that the purpose of our company is to make the lives of the people who buy from us a little better in some way.

Said more eloquently and succinctly:

The purpose of our company is to serve our users, the purpose of our users is not to serve our company.

This one simple sentence is, unfortunately, one that 99% of companies don’t seem to understand.

You can read more about the dichotomy between science (the revenue engine) and alchemy ( the irrational things) in order to create an extraordinary business in Science + Alchemy = Predictable Magic.

So it’s our duty to give the people who came here, specifically for us, our undivided attention.

RJ Youngling