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#145 - Interview with Mike Griffin, Griffin Brothers Companies


This week we spoke with Mike Griffin about building blue collar service businesses. Mike is the Managing Partner of The Griffin Brothers Companies, a diversified family holding company.

Topics covered:

- How to compete effectively in service businesses - Hiring, training, and retaining great employees - How Griffin Brothers incentivizes their business managers based on P&L - The advantages of sharing admin services between portfolio companies - Deep dive into the landfill business - ZoomUp - a seed investment strategy for young entrepreneurs in blue-collar industries

Listen: iTunes, Spotify


11-Star Experience

"Obviously a hotel couldn’t afford to send you to the moon and make you James Bond for any reasonable price. But if we can anchor our mindsets upward to an eleven-star experience, it really opens up what might be feasible and innovative at a lower level to make the customer feel fantastic. Every business will be different. It’s about cracking our minds open to find the obvious improvements that are hiding in plain sight." - The Rebel Allocator by Jacob Taylor

Brian Chesky of Airbnb came up with this idea of the "11-Star Experience" when trying to figure out how to take Airbnb from a simple home rental website to a platform for all sorts of incredible travel experiences. He thought about what might make someone rate their experience on Airbnb as 5-stars, but then took it, well, six steps further. What would it take for the customer to rate their experience 11-stars? Once he broke through the mental constraints of the impossible to determine what would be truly magical, he was then able to work backwards and determine what Airbnb could reasonably do. This out-of-the-box thinking allowed Chesky to reverse engineer Airbnb into the platform you see today.