When I was a kid, Zorro was my favorite hero. The lone ranger was a close second. Both wore black masks and did good things. We kids were inspired.
I’m in the golf simulator business for the second time, after a semi-hiatus. We’ve made it clear we see how the industry is changing–a lot. But there remain bastions of the past in the form of what I call the “verticals”, those sim companies that sell you the complete package made up of mostly proprietary stuff. There really weren’t any of what I call aggregators twenty years ago, and there was no DIY market other than at the lowest end. These two new approaches to getting one’s simulator are fantastic for the industry, and the consumer. Along with this, more and more providers have staked out singular territory–tracking device providers, software providers, enclosure/screen providers. This is also fantastic.
Acting as an aggregator with one recent customer, I told him that in my last sim gig I’d have been looking to make a contribution margin of not less than $25,000 on his purchase. I told him I’d be geeked to clear $5-7k the way I do it now–before G&A. And, my client’s total cost will reflect that difference in approach. He’ll pay $20k less. That’s a hard pill to swallow for rich guys because we’re all inclined to think price defines quality and performance. But in the sim industry, that’s simply not true.
I feel a little like Zorro–some nice people doing it the old way are probably not going to invite me to their birthday parties. But hopefully I’ll have a bunch of new friends who invite me to join them for a round on their new simulator.