Monday, May 01, 2006

Finally Something to Talk About

It has been over a month since my last post. As a cyber-personality, I truly suck. The fact is that I have not had anything interesting to talk about. Other blogs are about mundane things, whereas I try to write mine like Op-Ed pieces.

Over the past few weeks, I have been doing more business in nearby Charlottesville. Fishersville and Waynesboro, where I live, are located about 30 miles to the West of Charlottesville. Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, Monticello and lots of rich wealthy people. There seems to be a Charlottesville-centric belief there that the world revolves around Charlottesville. Case in point: I attended a meeting of the Charlottesville Venture Group last month. This is a nice group of business people both entreprenuers and investors that meets at the Darden School in Charlottesville. The seminar was about statistics of the surrounding area. The instructor asked people what they thought the average income per household was in the area. An educated guy actually thought it was around $110,000. In fact, it was in the mid-thirties.

It seems that everytime I meet someone from Charlottesville, they name-drop. Things like I knew Dave Matthews before he could play a guitar. Or "John Grisham and I used to go cow tipping together". The concentration of rich and famous people in Charlottesville makes the rest of the residents think they are all rich and famous. More power to them.

The problem comes when they put the rest of the state down in bragging about themselves. Charlottesville is a very nice city. But believe it or not, other parts of the state do have running water and power.

Where this comes into the business fray is that with so many people in Charlottesville thinking that the rest of the world sucks, it opens opportunities for us peasants. For instance, commercial land in and around Charlottesville is really expensive. However, in areas such as Waynesboro, opportunities to get in at the ground floor are still available.

This is my "out-edge" theory. It goes like this: every booming area has a center. At some point, you are out of the center and reach the outer edges. That is the place where you should be investing. Paying too much for real estate or labor or anything makes it very difficult to make any money. If you open your eyes, you will find buildings, land, and people who are not in the center of a high growth area that are just as good. Buy low and sell high. If you only look in the hot spots, you will be buying too high.