Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Creativity, Culture, Design, Innovation, Insight, Marketing, Perspective, Research, Technology
So a few months ago, I was invited to talk at a conference about ‘ideas’.
Yeah … I know, it’s all been said and done before, but the reality is a good idea is still the only legal means to counter distribution, history and cash.
The issue is a lot of the ideas being spoken about are not ideas, they’re attempts at hype.
Anyway, while I was there, I got to hear a bunch of great people speak – people who have built sustainable businesses through genuine breakthrough ideas – and despite them covering a whole range of industries, there was one thing that was common to them all.
Their idea made sense.
They could describe it in a few words.
And while it’s true some of their ideas required massive infrastructure change before they would see success, at the heart of it, their idea was something simple and – to a certain degree – obvious.
Each one had tackled a real problem, not a marketing problem.
Each one had looked for what the audience didn’t like rather than improving what they did.
Each one was able to be utterly focused on what was the key deliverable to increase the odds of success.
Each one ensured the execution of their idea was as intuitive as possible to minimise the gap between the old ways and the new.
These 4 things helped them get investment.
These 4 things helped them get other people to share their enthusiasm for their idea.
These 4 things helped them build a business that disrupted the category to define the category.
It sounds so bloody simple and yet so few people are actually any good at doing it.
Sure, there’s a whole host of other factors that go on behind the scenes to make it happen … and they all talked about the stresses and failures they had along the way … but what really struck me was that regardless whether they had developed a new car brand or a new way for youth to interact, each and every one of them described their idea in a way that made sense.
Now compare that to some of the ideas we see from our industry …
Pegs that use weather aggregation technology to tell you when it is best to wash your clothes.
Plates that use holes to drain 30 calories of fat from each meal.
Caps that help blind paralympic swimmers, swim.
There’s a reason they end up as scam because no venture capitalist worth their salt would invest in them.
I know there are many, many brilliant people in this industry.
I know there are many brilliant ideas that can be turned into something phenomenal for brands and business.
But maybe it would help the whole industry if we stopped thinking we were the Idea Kings and learnt from the people who have made it happen … because while it seems what they have achieved is incredible, their genius is that they made is sound utterly acceptable and inclusive.
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