Companies thrive when focused on leveraging their core product. What is yours? What is OKC’s? Arguably, OKC’s core product is the Thunder, and we need to leverage it all we can to continue to build this city.
Every successful business I know understands its core product and leverages it to the Nth degree.
First, let’s talk through some definitions: Leverage is the exertion of force through an object used to build momentum. In business terms, leverage is an investment strategy using borrowed money to increase the potential return of that investment.
Leveraging something means that you so believe in something that you are willing to bet on it by borrowing against it to then maximize the return on that investment.
Good companies leverage their core products well. So should cities.
Take Oklahoma City. What is our core product? Here is a list to consider:
- Our people?
- Filming movies?
- OKC Thunder?
In my view, the Oklahoma City Thunder is our core product.
In 2014, my family wanted to move back to America from London for my kids to go through high school. They could choose a city between Atlanta, Nashville, Denver, D.C. or OKC. My youngest chose Atlanta, and my wife and two other kids chose OKC because of people. I was leaning towards Denver or Nashville, but ultimately, I rationalized that I could lead my content and tech companies best from OKC because of one core reason: the OKC Thunder were here.
I am serious. I decided to move to OKC not because I already had businesses or my extended family or friends were here (though that factored strongly). My main decision point was because of the Thunder and how it put OKC on the map, especially during the playoff runs we were in at the time.
The OKC Thunder caused me to move here while we kept expanding GiANT globally. More than that, I have since co-launched Billion (a global website builder), Six Summers, Better Sports, a neighborhood (Prairie at Post), and a wedding venue (The Farmstead.)
All of this happened in OKC and not some other U.S. city because I knew that if the Thunder were in OKC, I could be too.
The OKC Thunder is the core product of OKC. We have to leverage it. We have to be willing to bet on it. If that means a new venue other than the 20-plus-year-old stadium, then we do it. Even more than that, I believe we should be thinking even more about the Thunder and what we can do as a city to build off them.
As for the Thunder, are we going to invest in what we have worked hard to obtain? If we leverage it, we all win.