Pensive businessman in elegant suit sitting on a ruins of a cast

The Ghost Town that Fell into the Sea

Or..., how to ruin your business by ignoring the facts.

Once upon a time, near the Pacific Ocean in Oregon, USA, there was a town called Bayocean.

T.B. Potter, a real estate developer, laid out a town on a sandy peninsula in 1906. He sold 1600 lots and constructed for the residents a hotel, dance hall, post office, stores, and swimming pool.

There was no way to get to Bayocean. You had to arrive by boat, and the landing was treacherous, dangerous, and terrifying.

As a result, the residents decided to construct a protective jetty. The Army Corps of Engineers studied the area and advised the town that it required not one, but two jetties, one on each side of the bay's mouth. The cost was to be $2.2 million, half of which would be borne by local residents.

This is when the residents made the decision to save some money. They didn't have $1.1 million, and they couldn't understand why they needed two jetties when one would suffice.

That's why Bayocean's soon-to-be-ex-homeowners contributed half of the $800,000 required to construct the single jetty.

And for a while, everything was fine. The steamship ride from the open sea was much more pleasant and less frightening.

But there was a reason why the Army Corps of Engineers said TWO jetties were required: the beach was quickly becoming a little smaller, and then a LOT smaller. The ocean currents were altered and the land eroded as a result of the construction of a single jetty.

First, the beach vanished. The seaside swimming hall was then destroyed by a massive storm.

Soon after, the hotel began to crumble into the sea, room by room. Houses began to vanish. The sandy cliffs were eroding from below, and houses would crash into the sea and simply vanish with the next storm.

Finally, a second jetty was built in the early 1970s. It resolved the issue with the currents, and the sand began to rebuild itself.

But it was too late for Bayocean, which had long since vanished.


It was as if it had never been there.

If you go to the site today, you'll find... nothing. There isn't a single piece of concrete or brick left. There is nothing but pristine native coastline and a single sign indicating the location of the ultimate tribute to the consequences of taking half measures.

I'm not sure where you stand in your business. But I guarantee that you will be called upon to make a decision in the very near future. You could choose to be frugal and save some money. However, keep in mind that there could be serious consequences.

For example, suppose you want to hire someone to handle a particular aspect of your business. You could save money by going the low-cost route. Was it worth it if you also lost traffic, conversions, or sales as a result? Most likely not.

Every day, we make decisions about whether to take the cheap or expensive route. And, in many cases, there is no reason to pay more if you don't have to.

However, there are times when paying more can mean the difference between prosperity and ruin.

People in Bayocean lost everything due to the lack of a second jetty. They were evicted from their homes, their land, and their community. One distraught resident spent years hauling wheelbarrows of sand to the beach in an attempt to save his home, only to lose it to the sea along with everyone else in the community.

Remember Bayocean the next time you have to make a financial decision and make it wisely.

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About Kavi

I've been living the online solopreneur lifestyle for over 20 years. I began as a freelancer back in 2000 and have since created my own software company, hosting service, produced information products, and engaged in affiliate marketing.

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