Now that we are approaching our 500th visitor to the blog, I thought it would be a good time to put down in ink about why I set it up. Firstly to make sure I stay on topic but also to keep me motivated on this journey that I am embarking on.
There is one moment that clearly stick out which led me to set up this blog.
Sharpening the saw?
As someone who attends a lot of hackathon events, I have a chance to speak to a lot of very innovative people and companies. A few weeks ago I attended an event, where one innovation manager said something profound to the audience. He said he wasn’t looking for developers, he was looking for ideas to try. I was delighted, finally someone who gets it.
After meeting him, we worked on a few ideas together and presented 2 to his marketing team and IT team. Despite these same ideas being done by their competitors in the USA and France, the idea was shot down by marketing. I was gutted.. it was a good fit, it had been done recently in the US, it was cheap to try and it could have opened up a new channel for earning revenue for customers.
Why didn’t they want to do it?
- “It’s very risky, it might not work”
- “Our customers won’t get it”
- “It’s too advanced”
- “It hasn’t been tried in UK, we don’t know what it will do”
- “We aren’t there yet as a business”
- “it will be something that potentially we would want to do next year.. “
Translation: It’s too risky, and if it doesn’t succeed then we have wasted our time and will look bad.
It evaporated in that conversation.
A perspective from an US Company
A few weeks ago I was at a talk with Rob Easton,(@Cloud_Easton) head of Google’s cloud platform in the UK. He said some words that really helped to kick me hard into thinking.
“Today is the slowest rate of change that we will experience in our lifetimes, things are only going to get faster”
He’s right, these companies that are saying that they aren’t ready yet, are going to be those that get left behind in the market. .
Those companies that are too afraid to try things out, won’t be as fast to learn what works.
By the time those companies are in a place to find our what works, they will be too late and will have had their customers and business taken from them.
Just mentioning names like Napster, Uber and Amazon used to make execs laugh saying they will never be a serious threat. In 2014, those same names are more likely to be greeted by worry, fear or respect in their respective industries.
If your whole market is running slow at responding to customer change… Watch out! you have a disruption on the route ahead.
It’s about relative speed..
My personal belief is that the speed of a company is less important than the speed of a companies competitors. If you are going fast – and your competitors are faster, then you lose. If you are afraid to try new things then you are standing still.
This applies equally to small local businesses and large international FTSE 100 companies, if they are:
- going slow, being held back by an inability to experiment and learn.
- Too busy trying to manage internal politics
- Not able to try anything remotely risky
- Don’t know what to try
then you are doomed.
How I hope this blog will help
I am sure there are many people around the world who are trying to inact change within companies but are being chopped back by the same phrases I mentioned in the above post.
For this blog, I am going to use it as way to showcase those companies and people that are pushing the boundaries of embracing digital in the physical world.
Mission 1: Showcase 50 Amazing digital in-store Projects
Primary Target: Hopefully by showcasing these companies and projects I can make companies feel that doing innovative digital projects
- might be risky, but they may just work
- can find out if customers will like it.
- its good to be advanced as it gets people excited about us.
- that they can be among the first to try it in the UK and lead the market.
Target 2: Who knows – maybe I will come up with something cool along the way that can help companies interact with customers digitally in a better way and make them loads of money.
A Final thought on Change
Things are changing and are only getting faster. Consider this blog yours and my rocket powered jet engine. It’s up to you if you want to use it. I am going to try..
Feedback or thoughts? Feel free to comment, tweet or mail.