January 31, 2012

Better Brainstorming: Include Outsiders

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 9:08 am

If you gather a group of people who all work in the same environment and share similar backgrounds, and you ask them to brainstorm a solution to a problem, you are likely to get a collection of very similar ideas.

The Diversity of Ideas is Directly Related to the Diversity of the Team

To get the widest range of perspectives on a problem, build a brainstorming team that includes people from a wide variety of cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds. Those who have little industry experience or knowledge of “the way it’s always been done” can be particularly valuable.

Next time you have a brainstorming session, go ahead and invite some outsiders.
– The Startup Daily


January 30, 2012

Better Brainstorming: Suspend Judgement

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 9:05 am

Effective brainstorming involves two distinct modes of thinking. Combining them too early limits the quality and quantity of the ideas you will generate.

Productive Brainstorming Requires that you Separate Creative Thinking from Critical Thinking

The goal of creative thinking is to generate as many ideas as possible, while deferring judgement. These ideas should not be thought of as packaged solutions, but instead as partially formed fragments and possibilities. These fragments are then used as jumping off points for further expansion.

Only later at the critical thinking stage should you analyze, question, and narrow down your list of ideas.

The real magic of brainstorming usually happens in the expansive space between idea generation and selection, and cannot occur if ideas are judged and dismissed the moment they are conceived.
– The Startup Daily


January 27, 2012

Finding A Worthy Challenge

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 9:06 am

Don’t wait for somebody else to tell you what products to develop and what problems to solve. To find a challenge worthy of your time, look no further than the points of friction in your own life.

Study Everyday Situations with an Eye Towards Improving Them

Become a nitpicker. Identify all the little things that are inconvenient or broken in the world around you. Then, instead of just accepting them, pick one and commit to doing something about it.

Life’s little problems are an entrepreneur’s opportunities.
– The Startup Daily


January 26, 2012

Serve your Non-Customers

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 9:18 am

Incremental innovation is made by finding better ways to serve existing markets. But to create truly disruptive innovation, there are massive growth opportunities hidden in plain site.

The Biggest Impact Is Not Made by Grabbing Bigger Slices of the Pie, It’s Made by Uncovering Entirely New Pies

Your competiors are fighting over an established market of a known size. Yet there is likely a much larger group of people who have similar needs, but find the existing offerings too complicated, expensive, or difficult to access.

This strategy enabled Nintendo to come from third place in the video game market to outselling their competitors for five years with the Wii. Instead of going after the existing market for video game consoles—the hardcore gamers—they went after everyone else with a system that was priced lower and easier to learn. Nintendo opened up a whole new market of casual gamers, which they had entirely to themselves for over five years before Microsoft and Sony finally caught up.

If you want to play it safe, then stay focused on improving how you serve the existing market and hope that it doesn’t shift. But if you want to turn industry upside, be the first to find a way to serve those who are currently being left out in the cold. The risk may be bigger, but so is the reward.
– The Startup Daily


January 25, 2012

To Get Organized, Get Creative

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 10:11 am

The need to be creative is the natural motivation to get organized. The structure and constraints of preparation and organization demonstrate your commitment to the creative task at hand, and become an important part of the creative ritual itself.

Introducing the Stability of Organization on One Level Opens Up Creativity on Another

Organization and creativity are not mutually exclusive. They are two sides of the same coin.
– The Startup Daily


January 24, 2012

Beware of Sending Mixed Messages

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 9:11 am

Leaders often forget that they are perpetually in a fishbowl, and that employees attempt to dissect meaning from everything the leader does, not just what they say.

A Leader Must Model the Behaviors They Want from Their Team

Adept leaders use this to their advantage. Even symbolic acts can be used to remind people what is expected of them.

Nothing is more corrosive to a leader’s credibility than when they say they want one behavior, but demonstrate another through their actions.
– The Startup Daily


January 23, 2012

Kick Ass At Fast

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 9:06 am

Larger companies are able to use their scale to define the rules of their industry, and do so to their advantage. This works very well when the industry is stagnant, but leaves them unable to adapt quickly to fast-changing competition.

When You’re Small, Being Faster than Your Competitors is Your Biggest—and Sometimes Only—Advantage

Forget the pursuit of perfection, and just be the best at getting better fast. Use your speed and agility to run between the legs of the Goliaths in your industry.
– The Startup Daily


January 20, 2012

Be a Realistic Optimist

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 9:15 am

Repeated studies have shown that one of the best predictors of success is believing that you will succeed. However, this is not the same as believing you will succeed easily.

Don’t Just Visualize Your Success, Visualize the Steps You Will Take to Make Your Success Happen

Being a realistic optimist means understanding that success requires persistance and hard work. It is shortsighted and unrealistic to focus on what you want without considering what it takes to get it.
The Startup Daily


January 19, 2012

Make Use of Whitespace

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 11:56 am

Artists have long understood that what is left out often has a greater impact than what is included. This is also true when giving a presentation.

Your audience is not going to remember most of what you say during a presentation. But they will remember what they thought about what you said.

If You Want Your Audience to Remember Your Message, You have to Give Them Space to Reach the Conclusions on Their Own

Provide them with just enough information, and allow them the time to reflect and fill in the blanks themselves.

A memorable presentation is a conversation, and the audience needs a chance to play their role.
– The Startup Daily


January 18, 2012

The 80/20 Rule and the Vital Few

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 9:10 am

The 80/20 rule seems to appear everywhere we look. 80% of a company’s sales are typically made by 20% of the salesforce. 80% of sales are usually of 20% of the products. But perhaps the most interesting insight for business owners is that 80% of a business’s profits come from 20% of it’s customers.

Focus on Serving the 20% of Your Customers that Provide 80% of Your Profits

Meeting the needs of 20% of your customers is far easier than meeting the needs of 100%. Yet refocusing on serving these top revenue producers will ultimately be more profitable.

When you excel at meeting the needs of that segment, you will attract more customers that are similar to that profitable 20%, and fewer of the less profitable 80%.
– The Startup Daily

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