It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint

Let me be clear: I have no aspirations to run a marathon. Hey, at my age I don’t even want to run the laps that we do at the gym. I’ve never really liked running, even when I played football and lacrosse. Don’t get me wrong, I hit a terrific gym every day I can – shameless plug for Jay and Nancy Collins at Max Edge Fitness in Hampton, NH (best damn gym on the seacoast of NH!!!). And on this marathon day in Boston, we salute the runners, fans, support teams, police, fire, EMS and everyone else who makes this event happen. I just don’t want to run a marathon myself. By now you are thinking; ‘Oh no, not another misdirected rambling from this guy’. No, I do have a point.

The marathon represents several things: determination, will, training, commitment, strength and endurance. There is a mindset that goes into every marathon runner, a combination of all of these things (and others that I do know of as I am not a marathon runner). The achievement of running a marathon is impressive; 26.2 miles, a few hours of just running (“I just wanted to run’ Forrest Gump). Remarkable. Admirable. Really, I mean it.

Much of the marathon runners’ philosophy relates to business, and naturally I will tie it to the SatCom sector and your provider (if it is not GlobaFone). A number of satellite phone providers that have been around for a long time (long being relative in this sector). East Coast Satellite Communications is 16, several are older. What about your provider? Did they pop up in the last few years? More importantly – Are they a ‘sprinter’ – offering the lowest price that looks appealing in the short term? Or do they provide you with real value that stands the test of time? Have you been with your provider for 10 years or more? Or do you have to switch every (few) year(s) because of some deficiency in their service or product offering?

I realize that there is a pervasive (and totally wrong) mentality that lowest price is best and it is very appealing notion. But it is short-term thinking. That is why there are several methods to determine lifetime cost; cars, boats, aircraft, lawnmowers, etc… A $150 item that needs to be replaced every three years is much more expensive than the $300 item that lasts 10 years. This is a clear comparison between low cost and high value. I’m pretty sure the marathon runners don’t train by running the 100 yard dash a couple of times a day, so with that as the context…… will you carefully examine your SatCom program? Do you work with a trusted provider year after year, or change providers as soon as a lower price comes along (and all the hassle that switching providers incurs on you and your staff)?

That scenario is the difference between an annual sprint and a ten year marathon. It is your time and money to spend, but which intuitively makes more sense? The repetitive sprint with a new satellite provider each year, or a renewal with a trusted provider and a deepening relationship?

Ask the men and women running from Hopkinton to Boston. Hats off to everyone involved in the Boston Marathon.

Thanks for reading!