When Do We Stop Selling Shovels?

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Imagine a gold rush. Many tell you that the best way to monetize it is by selling shovels. But then, doesn’t the shovel selling become a secondary gold rush? And so on and so forth?

At what point does the shovel-level become too deep, or does it not matter assuming the level of shovel-specificity keeps getting narrower and narrower? WeShovel makes very pointy shovels for harder dirt, and BananaShovel makes wide shovels for softer dirt.

Don’t we run the risk that at some point, those going for the gold realize that they’re just dreamers, and that maybe it’s best to also start selling shovels?

Before you notice, we’re all just selling shovels to each other and no one is actually digging. How do we know we’ve reached this point? Is this where we want to be? Are “bullshit jobs” a sign of this?

Is the main gold rush not worth pursuing anymore? Are we out of gold?

What do you think is the gold not enough people are digging for?