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Time to Vent - Be the Leader not the Follower


The Lesson - Following gives you no competitive advantage. You need to become the low cost supplier/producer with the best solutions and service.

These stories both good and bad should send up success or warning signs for you to learn from experience.

I read many business papers and everyone interviewed is asked  where do you get your ideas?  I have a huge laugh every time when i see the responses.

The typical response is my Employees, My Peers and my Industry trade journals and conferences. I stay on top of my industry.. ARE YOU CRAZY. DO YOU WANT TO WIN..

Most Industries are nothing more than a bunch of me too companies and all your peers go to the same shows . When was the last time you can remember a peer or someone in your industry tearing the roof off and being disruptive with innovation?

If you want to me a ME-TOO company that's fine. Do you think when Steve Jobs invented the IPod, IPhone, IPad he wanted to be me too and copy the current players and cell phones in existence?

You should be attending anything and everything outside your industry looking at ideas in other industries and then saying how can i apply this to my industry for a disruptive breakthrough.

 I have been in hundreds of companies and seen some of the most brilliant things done and also some of the stupidest projects on the planet. I pick up the best pieces from all industries and try to apply what works the best for a company. 

I took an idea in Banking and took one company with 17 people and 4 million in sales to 25 million in sales with no additional employees. In face they eventually had 4 employees with 25 million in sales and no outsourcing. As employees left the company they were not replaced.  What we did when we automated was put the people into more of marketing and follow up roles instead of heads down grunt work. They were paid more and enjoyed the work and eventually moved into better paying jobs at other companies.

did you know that there are still millions of Rotary phones being used and the phone companies charge people up to 30 bucks more for month for them. 

Think back to the cell phone industry - Motorola, RIM and others were just milking consumers with incremental updates because those companies are built with huge layers of management and nobody can make a disruptive decision. It's a committee decision and as long as every little corporate silo is untouched and they can milk the customers they get a consensus vote. In other words you can't cannibalize one product for a better product without SILO WARS - maybe a new TV show huh. So I am not allowed to bring up a device that may obsolete a cash cow but bring the company 2-3-5x the money because the current hero's have more power since they are the current kings of the hill. My product may obsolete the competition and hand me the #1 spot in the industry but it gets shelved.

Now think you are in the Walkman business. You make incremental updates and nothing more. What did happen to Sony Walkman Anyways?  King of the hill to Me-Too to where are they in that space today.

Now think about going to a automotive trade show (you are not in that business) and playing with a touch screen GPS,  then you think why can't i serve up music on this device with a touch screen.  So you build an IPod  then you realize you are now carrying a Phone and an IPod and you say why can't i combine these devices. Then you think about revolutionary ideas  and take the industry by storm. I still remember the days of carrying 2-3-4 devices, chargers and more. If Steve Jobs did not rip the industry a new one we would still have all those devices.

I hear many people say  IPad  is a useless expensive e-book reader - these are not out best and brightest until they pull their heads out of the sand and here are some thoughts of why you don't want them leading your team.

How about taking orders and quotes live in the field with a client instead of coming back to the office and doing the old fashioned process of going back n forth. I was with a multi-billion dollar company at appointments, the customer was ready to spend 3+ million dollars and the sales guy said he was traveling and maybe in 2 weeks he could get them a quote.  YOU WANT TO QUOTE AND GET THE ORDER NOW.. CUSTOMER SERVICE AND RESPONSE WINS. We could have walked out of there with a PO.

SALES 101 is Dead and the whole company I talked about above is going through reorg after reorg. Do you know what a Reorg is? It's where the people that created the mess just shuffle jobs to last 3-5 years longer at the company.Sometimes 1-2 get canned but many times the good ones get the boot.

How about healthcare records and appointment scheduling in a dynamic environment. You update the services on the device and the claims are submitted. You are cleaning up a huge backend mess that exists in healthcare. I have created a product like this today rolling out across the USA. Imagine how many people are touching the paper the current way and then all the errors.

How about real estate agents showing a home and someone says what else is available around here? do you scheduler another appointment or get your IPad hit your location and show them on the screen other properties available locally  and work the deal. Multiple trips reduce your chance of success.

If you think outside the Box  -  You Dream
If you live outside the box - You can be disruptive and achieve a breakthrough.

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