Follow us for updates

Business Blog

Read me like a book by starting at the beginning

The Importance Of External Factors

Date - 05 April 2016/ Category - Facts Of Life
Facts of life

No matter how good your idea is, even if it is great, much like putting an ice cube in the oven, if you make your idea subject to the wrong external factors then it will never get off the ground.

There are two great examples that spring to mind of how recent innovations have used external factors to get off the ground.

The first is Blackberry. When Blackberry started up, it was common place for company phones to be organised by IT departments. The team at Blackberry quickly realised that the IT departments of many big companies were mostly tick boxes, and the revolutionary idea of putting your emails on your phone was just a step too far for most departments to grasp.

This meant that in order to grow blackberry had to do something unique. They settled on a plan to send free handsets to company CEOs instead, recognising that if used properly the CEO would filter down their requirements to the IT team.

All of Blackberry’s marketing prowess was then focused purely on CEOs, who now with a free handset, found that rather than waiting to send emails after a long day, could send them in between meetings and free up their night times to spend with their families.

Add to that the fact that they could respond instantly to questions, but their teams often waited hours to reply and CEOs soon mandated that all their teams have Blackberry’s (paid for) too.

Alternatively then in a completely different space, stands bitcoin. A new currency founded by geeks somewhere on the internet. As a currency, bitcoin is free from government regulation and oversight. Unlike paper money, it can’t be printed at will to serve a need.

Bitcoin owes at least part of its success through to the community within which it was born. Something that without it would have no doubt died a quick death.

Satoshi Nakamoto; the inventor of bitcoin (no doubt not his real name), chose to launch bitcoin via a cyber community full of coders who were anti-establishment. The perfect community then to launch an anti-establishment currency.

This community had been heavily involved in the crazy for downloading films and music online for free, something that had been heavily curved as of late, meaning that although there was a strong community of cyberpunks readily awaiting a project to discuss, there was actually nothing in the pipe as such.

When it launched then, via the cyberpunk forums, it was met with ready arms and picked up as a communal project.

These are two great examples of how the laces we choose to focus our attention on can greatly affect the success of our ideas.

You might for example have a great idea, but if you assemble the wrong team to enact it find that you never get to your end goal. Alternatively you might decide to market your great idea to an audience that doesn’t readily receive it, e.g. the IT guys vs the CEOs.

Often as was the case with IT, it wasn’t that the idea of blackberry was bad, it was just unrecognised as a problem and as such, much like the iphone, the marketing was designed to show them the benefits rather than rely on the client figuring them out for themselves.

External factors are hugely important when you try to start up a great idea, and if you get them wrong it can often lead to the appearance of bad luck dragging you down rather than what it really is; poor marketing.

Take for example coca cola. When it was first designed, it as a health tonic. As a tonic it failed miserably, until the inventor sold the idea to someone else and they remarketed it as a recreational drink. The rest is history.

If you’ve got a great idea, it’s absolutely vital that you figure out where the right place to put your idea at launch is. Usually your funds will be limited and if you get it wrong then you may not get a second chance.

Like Blackberry and bitcoin, rather than scattering your resources, you need to focus them intently on that perfect launching pad in order to gain traction; traction is everything and it’s the one thing that if you fail to achieve will drag you down.

Chapter Summary:

• Just because you think it’s a great idea, doesn’t mean your audience does
• Concentrate on showing people the benefits, not expecting them to figure them out
• Focus your efforts on your marketing plan, don’t scatter gun your approach

Read our next blog post “The truth is already out there”.