Trombone oil

“Avoid getting into the business of manufacturing trombone oil. You may become the greatest manufacturer of trombone oil in the world, but in the end, the world only consumes a few quarts of trombone oil a year.”

Dan Burke’s famous note to Bob Iger does two things at once – beautifully.

First, it articulates a simple but powerful point that is relevant to anyone looking to build a company or a product- market size/potential matters.

Second, a note that said “Focus on projects with big market potential” or “Make sure the TAM/Total Addressable Market on your investments are large” would have been both boring and un-memorable.

Even if what we’re saying is incredibly valuable, how we say it can make or break its impact.