The ability to create Something from Nothing is no small feat. New growth is an exciting, rare, inspiring and all-around very-good thing! I wrote a post last January on this topic, highlighting my humble roots as a first-generation immigrant and all the insurmountable obstacles we faced as a family, succeeding against incredible odds. This explains in part my passion for innovation and leadership, and my work at FountainBlue over the last decade, advising start-ups, coaching execs and running events.
But as my daughter heads off to college (UCLA playing sand volleyball, go Bruins!) and I look at what’s next for me, my emphasis will be more on growing ideas, concepts, leaders and organizations from its high-potential starting point to a wider, deeper and broader opportunity.
It’s not that I’m dishonoring the brilliance and energy and optimism of the newly-minted ideas and technologies, it’s that growing it will impact more people, energy and others. If you’re at the stage where you’re trickling in people, customers and funding, below are some thoughts to consider as you grow, with links to some of my recent posts.
- Do the market research to know not only that customers are interested, but that they also have the budget, authority and NEED to buy. Without the larger commitment, you could create something and nobody would come.
- Don’t be a technology looking for a customer. Understand the view from the customer’s perspective and design something that would fit their needs and their limitations and requirements. In short, take a Cow’s-Eye-View-of-the-World.
- Know enough about the trends in the market to anticipate the needs of the customer in the context of these macro trends. Be that information junkie in this age of media! Read up on what’s happening with which leader and which company and why it’s relevant to yourself and others in your circle. Listen closely to those around you to see how they are impacted by what’s happening.
- Use that seventh sense to quickly read and assess and connect with people who touch them in-person, online, or over e-mail.
- Embrace core foundational beliefs as we emerge into an age of personalization and the fact that sifting the wheat from the chaff will help leaders and companies focus on the most relevant data.
- Make a plan that intersects market trends, technology solutions and passion, interest and energy in that space. First focus on the market, then the skills, then the passion.
- If Web 1.0 connects us at the IT and software layer, and Web 2.0 connects the communities and runs solutions to scale, then Web 3.0 does all this and adds a layer of revenues, a layer of interactivity, and a model for personalized solutions to the door.
- Consider new business models that leverages this age of digital, this age of the customer.
- Bridge silos to overcome innovation hurdles.
- Accept that change happens with any plan, for factors mostly independent of you, then roll with it.
May you find these thoughts useful. We also welcome your thoughts!