1. Stop Trying to Make Everything Look Perfect…
“Since when did Marketing become the make it pretty department?” Sylvia Reynolds
Why are we so pre-occupied with how everything looks? Of course you need to stand out in a crowded market place and looking good is a big part of that, but too many great ideas get over shadowed by the aesthetics. What your customers think is more important than how pretty you think it looks. Microsoft understood this years ago when they released flawed software and improved it once it was out there. Apple didn’t and they got left behind because they wanted the design to be perfect before showing anyone. Apple now has hundreds of design awards, courtesy of Jonathan Ive and I don’t believe Microsoft have any – but whose balance sheet would you rather have? (Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department).
“Isn’t real revolution all about ripping it up and starting again?” Peter Saville
The world famous graphic designer Peter Saville told me this a couple of years ago when he was describing his creative process. Many of the great inventions came from people who just refused to follow the status quo. Einstein wasn’t a genius ~ but the creative process that formed his theories has changed science forever.
Richard Branson was a failure at school but he refused to accept that airlines had to be run a certain way, after being left stranded when a flight was cancelled. He knew nothing about running an airline back then, but he now owns 37 planes ~ with a further 31 on order! James Dyson made wheel barrows, but his original thinking helped him invent the most revolutionary vacuum cleaner of all time. (He’s now worth over £1bn). It’s only when you start from scratch and refuse to accept limitations, that you start to hit on the really world changing ideas.
3. Stop Doing Market Research…
“I hate to tell you, but I’m not a big believer in market research. I believe you take your inspiration and throw it out there. If it sticks, praise God. If it doesn’t, you can listen to research and try to fix it, and then throw it out there again. But I don’t believe a focus group has ever created a revolution”. Guy Kawasaki
4. Make Things Happen. Use Force if Necessary.
“The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall”. Che Guevara
Che Guevara travelled the world as a freedom fighter, at a time when nobody else was willing to take a stand. He was even one of the first people to protest against apartheid in South Africa and Nelson Mandela called him, “an inspiration for every human being that loves freedom”. As the cliché goes, freedom is not free (as Che found out when he lost his life campaigning in Bolivia) but it takes radicals like Che to start making a difference. Think MLK, Ghandi, JFK…
But I’m not JFK I hear you cry! A recent study at Harvard University suggested that 5% of ANY given group can influence the remaining 95% to bring about change. Try thinking about that the next time you think your team is too small to make a difference.
5. You’ve Gotta Have a Vision AND a Plan.
A dream is an idea that does nothing. I’ve had my time for dreaming. These days, I’m more interested in action. Bono