99. Content“We need content for our Website, Dad,” Josh said. “We need to become sticky.”

“We’re a stump removal business,” Adam said. “What kind of ‘content’ could we possibly generate, and what the hell does ‘sticky’ mean? We just need our phone number out there and maybe some photos. We don’t need to be Yahoo or something.”

Adam saw his son roll his eyes at that.

“We want to separate ourselves from the competition,” Josh said, heading off the “respect your elders” lecture that was headed his way. “It’s not just, ‘We can remove your stump.’ It’s, ‘Why we should be the ones to remove your stump.’”

Adam wanted to work with his son — he had dreamed of an “Ellis & Son” sign the moment Josh was born. But it had been apparent early that it would take some work to make that happen. Adam liked to get outside and get his hands dirty; his wife always called him a “frustrated farmer,” while she called Josh an “indoor cat.” The boy didn’t like to get dirty. He’d rather read than fish, and when he discovered computers, it was difficult to pry him away from the keyboard.

So, he took advantage of the rare overlapping interests when he could. They bonded over college basketball. They both enjoyed Clint Eastwood films. And, when Josh suggested developing a Website for the business, Adam took him up on it.

What he didn’t expect, though, was how thorough his son was.

He was both proud and confused.