March 2012

3 People x 5 Ideas = 125 Ideas

By | 2012-03-21T22:26:12+00:00 21 March 2012|Categories: grow, SandBlog, solve|Tags: , , , , |

Grade school¬†arithmetic¬†would lead you to believe when you have three (3) people in a room, each with five (5) ideas, you’ll have a total of 15 ideas.

Luckily, brainstorming isn’t grade school arithmetic!

There’s a bit of mathmatical magic that happens when we share ideas. Let’s say you, me, and a friend are in this room.

When you offer an idea, it then becomes mine and our friend’s. That one idea with your single perspective now stimulates thinking in all three of us.

When we each have three ideas and share them with each other, it isn’t 5+5+5 but 5 to the power of 3, or 125!

Two key secrets for more effective brainstorming include:

  • stimulus (stuff to help spark ideas), and
  • diversity (brining together people with different perspectives).

When the three of us meet together we provide diverse background and stimulate ideas in each other.

Next time you’re stumped in trying to solve something, pull together a few others and ask them their thoughts. Get some diverse perspectives.

Thanks to Doug Hall’s book Jump Start Your Brain for sparking this article.

January 2007

How to Be Different: “Create A Contagion”

By | 2017-03-01T11:57:19+00:00 17 January 2007|Categories: grow|Tags: , , , , |

The crux of Guy Kawasaki’s book “The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything” is about turning ideas into action! In chapter 9, “The Art of Branding,” Guy offers advice on how to create a remarkable product or brand.

Who: Guy Kawasaki

What: “Create A Contagion”*

What is it?

Create “something contagious that infects people with enthusiasm.”

How is it done?

Contagion is…
Cool – Cool is beautiful. Cool is hip. Cool is idiosyncratic. And cool is contagious…

Effective – You can’t brand crap. You can’t brand something that doesn’t work.

Distinctive – It is easy to notice and advertises itself. It leaves no doubt that it is different from the competition.

Disruptive – Contagious products are disruptive. They either upset competitive status quo (“Oh, hell, this is better. We’re in trouble.”) or make them go into denial (“Why would anyone want a graphical user interface?”). But they do not leave people unaffected.

Emotive – It exceeds expectations, and by exceeding expectations, it makes you joyful.

Deep – The more you use it, the more you discover what it is capable of.

Indulgent – Purchasing it makes as feel as if you’ve indulged yourself. This may be because it costs more than alternatives, it’s cooler, or it’s more than you really need. Thus, it enables you to escape the mundane.

Supported – Provide exemplary service.

Guy continues the chapter with great advice on brand building… but we’ll stop here… with focus on remarkability.

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*This post was originally referred to as Guy’s advice for creating “Secret Sauce.” He recommends when you are pitching your product/service/company that you explain the underlying magic of your company. What is the “technology, secret sauce, or magic behind your product or service?” By sharing your contagion, you’ll accomplish this task.

December 2006

How to Be Different: Offer “Dramatic Difference”

By | 2017-03-01T11:57:26+00:00 13 December 2006|Categories: grow, SandBlog|Tags: , , , |

Not just different, but dramatically different is what Doug Hall prescribes…

Who: Doug Hall

Inventor, author, consultant, and recent judge on the the ABC television network show “American Inventor.”

What: “Dramatic Difference”

What is it?:

Your job is to create a MONOPOLY.

Every product or service that is sold lies somewhere on the continuum from MONOPOLY to COMMODITY. At the extremes, your offer is either one-of-a-kind – in effect a MONOPOLY – or it’s the S.O.S. (Same Old Stuff) – a COMMODITY. In the case of the latter, the only way you can enhance customer value is by lowering your price.

How is it done?:

Doug’s Three Steps to Successful Marketing

Step 1 – Overt Benefit: “What’s In It For Me?” – Articulate the benefits of your product/service (not the features). Customers won’t necessarily know how to translate your features into their benefits.

Step 2 – REAL Reason to Believe: “Why should I believe you?” – …The benefit will have caused some tension and anxiety in the customer’s mind. It will require you to resolve the tension by offering a REAL REASON to believe. Being overt and obvious about your unique and Meaningful benefit will get customers to notice you… Today’s customers are media savvy. They’ve learned to discern the difference between real substance and smoke and mirrors.

Use overt honesty to find your credibility. Your credibility is built from honesty. When an offering is not right for your customers, tell them so. When you don’t know the answer, don’t bluff; them them you’ll research it and find the answer.

Plan to Exceed Customer Expectations. Credibility is built when the customers’ experiences exceed their expectations. Design pleasant experiences into your brand experience…

Here’s where Dramatic Difference comes into play…

Step 3 – Dramatic Difference: “Why Should I Care?” The First and Only… – Evaluate how MEANINGFULLY Unique your offering is. Is it the FIRST and ONLY to:

  • …offer the benefit?
  • …solve this specific problem?
  • …offer a COMBINATION of benefits?
  • …offer customers this level of VALUE?

If it is not one of these, then you must think hard about the viability of your offering…

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