Reinvent the Steal

June 25, 2008

In reality, there is not a lot to this innovation thing.  Have you ever been sitting around and thought to yourself that there was a company that could be doing something, just one thing, differently?  If they did this one thing maybe they would be more successful, more efficient, better for consumers, etc.  Well that is an opportunity to innovate.  If they aren’t going to change, maybe you could.  Or at least force them to.

Everybody will tell you that you do not have to “reinvent the wheel” to find success.  There are not a lot of completely original ideas left in the world.  Chances are, most things have already been invented, or at least tried before.

Reinventing the steal is all about taking an existing an idea and making it your own.  Companies thrive on competition, and, in most cases, are defined by it.  There is room to improve on all the ideas that are already being practiced.  If you are looking to start a company, look to the companies that have found success.  Think about the things that they are not doing well, and build a company that competes.  Differentiate yourself on the one or two levels that you know you can do better.

This can work on all levels, and we have seen it time and time again.  Google was not the first search engine, but they do things differently, and better, than the others.  Starbucks was not the first chain of coffee shops, but they created an image unlike all the others.  This is not the first blog about innovation. Now its your turn. 

Take an idea that you like, that has worked, and make it better.  Change the marketing approach, change the level of service you provide, change the way your organization is structured.  These can all lead to success in a competitive marketplace.  Don’t ever be afraid to test the big boys, there is plenty of business out there for all of us.


The Age of the Startup

June 21, 2008

It is easier now than ever before to start your own company.  The playing field is wide open and waiting for your idea.  The barriers to entry are lower than you think, and the startup costs are less than they used to be.  In fact, in most industries, new ways of doings things make the initial startup easier and more convenient than even 5 years ago.

So what does this mean?  It means that differentiating yourself is more important than ever.  The fact that it is easier to start a company means that more and more people are doing it.  To be successful, you need to be doing something that stands out from the crowd.  If you are not different, you are going to get lost in the shuffle and miss out on all of the fun.

Most people are afraid to stand out because it means taking a chance.  It means that if you fail, you fail in the public eye and you will be embarrassed forever.  We have this underlying fear that we will be outcast from society and seen as a fool for the rest of our lives.  Wake up!  It’s time that you realize that if you fail, you are in the majority.  We all fail.  People and businesses fail in this country every day.  Does that mean we all crowd around them and pelt them with cabbage and tomatoes?  There is no public shunning that takes place, and most often these same people or companies come back with a successful venture later.

Get over your fear of standing out, and you will free yourself up to rise to the top.  Get people talking about you because your product is so new, or your marketing is so fresh, or your brand is so simple.  The more people talk, the more opportunities you have to convert them into customers.  Innovation does not have to mean a brand new product that no one ever thought of before.  It can be the way you handle your operations, the way you help your customers, the promotions you offer, etc.  So if you decide to take advantage of the “open” market and start a business, make it worth your while, stand out.