We’ve seen the birth of entirely new markets. We’ve witnessed people connect and interact in ways that was only a reality in science fiction novels. But most importantly, we’ve experienced a dramatic shift in how we think about life and do business.
This is all the evidence we need to prove that yesterday is over. And the rules that entrepreneurs and businesses followed to get here aren’t the same rules that will move them through 2015 and beyond.
Unity trumps utility.
People from all over the globe don’t flock to Apple the night before a new release because of the long list of patch notes or new features.
They come to unify themselves with some idea, purpose, or promise that is higher than where they are right now. Because that new release isn’t just about a more friendly user experience, higher quality camera, or sleek new icons: it’s about where all of that has the potential to take someone.
There’s generally three reasons people want to become unified with your business: they believe you can elevate them, they believe you’re with them, or you remind them of some place they once were.
For those reasons, your business isn’t just about the utility —the functionality and features —of what your do or create. It’s about the potential of what you bring into someone’s life.
When you align yourself with what you really do for someone, you paint the most beautiful picture possible of just how valuable your business really is.
Quality isn’t enough.
There’s merit in having systems and processes that elevate the performance of your team and those you influence. There’s respect for using premium quality products and tools that ultimately lead to an above-average experience. There’s something to be said for having high standards of production.
But a brand that focuses on nothing but quality isn’t enough.
Because a purpose to produce quality puts the focus on production and the product itself. It misses the single most important component of any business: authentic, True connection with people.
The most influential component of any business is the connection people on the inside have with each other, and how well those same people connect with those on the outside. If a is forever gazing upon blue screens and moving mechanical parts, there’s a disconnect between what you believe is important versus what’s actually important.
Set your gaze on the people looking back at you. And when you have questions about where to go next and how to react, ask the most insightful six word question ever: how do you feel about this?
Buzz alone doesn’t make things happen.
There’s a distinction between buzz and conversation. Yet often times, entrepreneurs and businesses unintentionally believe that buzz is what they need to go viral or gain traction in their market or have any impact at all.
Buzz alone is exactly what it sounds like: noise. It’s as useful as the noise that a humming bee makes as it soars past your ear. You hear that a bee is nearby, so you go to look for it. And once you see it, you watch it (or kill it).
And that’s all.
The non-figurative equivalent is when a business retains a PR firm to ‘spread the word’ and create opportunities for people to hear about what they’re doing and see what they look like.
But what would happen if intentions shifted from creating buzz to actually doing and creating something for people that’s actually remarkable —without the hype?
Instead of buzz, you get conversation. And with conversation, you get connection. And with connection, you get action.
Innovation is becoming a norm.
In life and business, there’s a distinction between doing what matters and doing what is supposed to matter.
The most influential businesses and their leaders know this one simple Truth: innovation is about INvention, not CONvention.
The entrepreneurs you aspire to be like and the brands you find inspirational didn’t get where they are by pointing out the window and saying, “We want to be like them when we grow up”. Instead, they gazed out the window, squinted really hard, and said, “See that? Has anyone ever been there before?”
These entrepreneurs and brands have the ambition to go somewhere new not because they’re supposed to be innovative and they should be looking for newer and better things. They have ambition because they have a real, True desire to make something better for people.
And the most innovative ideas aren’t inventions of something brand new that has never been thought of. They’re inventions of a better, higher, easier, cheaper, stronger, brighter experience.