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As a vivid figure of speech meaning something so fouled up as to be utterly useless, “dog’s breakfast” can cover anything from a play plagued by collapsing scenery to a space mission ruined by a mathematical error.

Urban Dictionary


The Audience

Customers reading this blog would ultimately be willing to share what I have written over a fine beverage of choice.  In my mind, I write for thoughtful people who love conversation and a story.

This is my tribe.

Seth Godin has taught me that there are far more effective ways to find and support a tribe.

Humans love cliques, they also love to define themselves as being other than that guy.  When it comes to affluence, it’s not that you wear jeans, but rather how you wear a certain brand of jeans that defines you socially.

Does that sound absurd?

The Like Button

What defines a tribe?

There are a very narrowly defined set of rules that apply to that tribe.  Nobody says you need to belong to it, there is only a strong perception that you must belong to this tribe or you are worthless.

The gatekeepers will carefully guard the entrance to this elusive club, thinking that they alone have the keys to keep out the riff-raff.

They are right.

Don’t Like Rules?

Repulsive behavior and poor customer service lock out an element.

There is a classic scene from the movie Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts has been given a wad of cash to go buy herself clothes.  Unfortunately, although she’s got the resources, the “exclusivity” of the store’s employees get in the way of her success.

In the end, with a little help from her wealthy benefactor, she wins and gets her clothing.  Today she would have turned on her computer and ordered from Amazon, but that is not the point.

There was the club, the tribe that resisted a potential candidate wishing to join the exclusive group.

Don’t Change The Rules!

The first reaction to miss-treatment would be anger, followed by boycotts, and lobbying to change legislation.

Is this really the answer?

In the free-market, a store can and should find a tribe.  If the government intervened and attempted to implement laws that made them sell items that didn’t fit the brand, or worse yet, attempted to control price on any items, it becomes clear how absurd and intrusive such laws are.

Socially Planned

Why should I force anyone to buy from one store and not the other?

In the same manner, if the owner of the store has found a profitable niche market why should they be forced to deviate?

A Tale of Two Cities

Let’s examine a specific case.

Imagine there are two curling clubs in the same town.  It would be natural to see the question to ask is how do we get more curlers?

Remember the point about cliques?

In reality, whether they say it or not, each club is looking for a certain type of customer.  If there aren’t any qualifications in the marketing material, anyone with an interest in curling will show up.

Men Without Hats

Maybe a customer likes to wear his baseball hat backward and adult pj’s when he curls.  If the club had a specific code of conduct then it would not matter how much money he was willing to spend, he would be denied entrance.


There is an unwritten rule that if you actually have more money than anyone else, the rules don’t apply.

Who knows how it all plays out?

The Competition

It would be the same at the other club.

What if it was an absolute must for the client to entertain his guests to a business dinner occasionally?


Each club must have its own tribe.

What happens when two tribes compete for dominance under the same bricks and mortar?  What happens then?

Golf vs Curling

If I argued that one group was superior to the other I’m missing the point.  It’s a classic case of comparing apples and oranges.

The curling market in Niagara needs diversity to remain healthy and capture a wide-ranging market.

Craft Beer In The Heart Stop Lounge

Look at the explosion of the craft beer market in Niagara.  How unfair would it be for the government to pick a large brewer and then forbid all other entrepreneurs to compete?

An eternity ago I wrote an article encouraging craft brewers to unite in the area and do a hostile takeover of the Heart Stop Lounge at the upcoming 2017 Scott Tournament of Hearts.

King of The HSL

The STOH is here and I am happy to announce that Triple Bogey won the race.

Who would suffer if there is no variety?  Everyone will be forced to drink beer that looks the same, smells the same, and possibly flavorless.

Trying to please everybody fails miserably.

Be creative, serve your tribe!




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