First published in the early 1970s, in the Dow Theory Letters and updated in 2014. A 12-point checklist for the perfect business.
The ideal business…
(2) offers a product which enjoys an “inelastic” demand. Inelastic refers to a product that people need or desire — almost regardless of price.
(4) has minimal labor requirements (the fewer personnel, the better). Today’s example of this is the much-talked about “virtual corporation”…where all manufacturing and services are farmed out to other companies.
(5) does not need an expensive location; it does not need large amounts of electricity, advertising, legal advice, high-priced employees, large inventory, etc.
(9) is portable or easily moveable. This means that you can take your business (and yourself) anywhere you want — Nevada, Florida, Texas, Washington, S. Dakota (none have state income taxes) or hey, maybe even Monte Carlo or Switzerland or the south of France.
(10) (crucial one that’s often overlooked)…satisfies your intellectual (and often emotional) needs. There’s nothing like being fascinated with what you’re doing.
(12) is one in which your income is not limited by your personal output (lawyers and doctors have this problem). No, in the ideal business you can sell 10,000 customers as easily as you sell one (publishing is an example).
This is the kind of business the internet was made for. Ubiquitous global reach, virtually zero marginal cost of goods, low overhood and hugely scalable.