You Can’t Please Everyone: Business Advice from Haruki Murakami

Wind-Up Bird
I ‘ve been a fan of Haruki Murakami, ever since @megnog bought me The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. I’m now reading What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Murakami’s running memoir.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with you:

“…you can’t please everybody. Even when I ran my bar I followed the same policy. A lot of customers came to the bar. If one out of ten enjoyed the place and said he’d come again, that was enough. If one out of ten was a repeat customer, then the business would survive.

“To put it the other way, it didn’t matter if nine out of ten didn’t like my bar. This realization lifted a weight off my shoulders. Still, I had to make sure that the one person who did like the place really liked it. In order to make sure he did, I had to make my philosophy and stance clear-cut, and patiently maintain that stance no matter what.”

What a peculiar idea! Murakami’s suggestion – that sometimes it’s better to pursue the business that makes sense to you, rather than desperately trying to please every customer – is vastly contrary to the modern preoccupation with pleasing everyone and countering every criticism.


Leave a comment

Let’s chat about your projectContact us