Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rush only to have a great product


"What are you waiting for?" That is something many pro-entrepreneur individuals say when you have an idea or would like something to be better. I completely agree, that yea "What are you waiting for!". Just do it. After that, everybody starts talking you should go lean, fail fast and learn while doing it. This way there might be better chance to find a fit for the market and start collecting those dimes worth more than variable costs per unit sold.

Therefore, just as an idea: When you start your business, there is an immense rush to get stuff done. It stresses you out in the nights, gets you a positive rush the next and anxiety the day you look into the business' bank account. And the latter one is the one you are rushing for.

Midsummer night, the sun will not set

Be the first in the

Be the first in what you do? Well, I don't think so. You might have heard the praises for blue ocean strategy. In blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for growth that is both profitable and rapid. In blue oceans, competition is irrelevant because the rules of the game are waiting to be set. Blue ocean as a strategy is correct, but it often is mixed with the idea of being the first.

It is true that you have many advantages if you execute an blue ocean strategy. But the advantage does not come from being the first.

The gold rush

So, what is the key when you go out and start your business? I would argue that is it the rush to have a great product. You are definitely in a rush, especially every time you look into your bank account. Eric Ries argues that an entrepreneur’s greatest advantage is their obscurity. If your first product sucks, at least not too many people will know about it. But that is the best time to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them to make the product better.

Therefore, the rush is to have a great product that creates a blue ocean before you run out of money.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Freedom is... the ability to choose


"I'm not afraid. I'm standing on top of this building, watching the storm approaching. I am not scared, taking on any weather it takes, cold or warm. We walk this world together afterall".

Filmmaker Pedro de la Fuente @pfuente, a good friend of mine, is currently working on to make people think what is freedom? I would start asking what is the value of freedom. To start, lets say loyalty has an important aspect. Loyalty to believe and to trust that the other will or can go out to do what is decided. When you trust, you can propose freedom.

Midnight fishing (11pm) #midsummer
This summer I've had the freedom to go fishing at 11pm

Loyalty and freedom

The key to understanding freedom is to recognize and respect that people are deeply loyal to themselves and those they love, but not to products, brands and governments (as society could be understood). They are loyal to their own values and the (relatively few) people and causes they truly believe in. What looks and feels like loyalty to a government, product, brand, company, etc. is driven by what that product, service, brand says about who we are and what we value.

If I buy from you, with money or by action, it’s not because I like you but because I like myself

This summer I've had the freedom to enjoy time in the park with my girl

Value of freedom

I also discussed this in a study on branding (pdf here). The value of freedom can be understood through an idea of post-modernism: the need to order the world into easily identifiable ranks and categories. Categories are society's way to interpret, to contrast and compare objects. The values signify the person's identity and leads to an active enjoyment of the specific object. The value of freedom is, therefore, the emotional interaction in a world of free choices. In a post-modern society, the citizen freely collects signs that signify the self.

The value of an object is the ability to create emotional loyalty, which emerges from the signification of the self. Hence the value of freedom is about the option to choose.

Green tea and iPad
This summer I've had the freedom to enjoy a cup of tea with magazines.