Dare to be Different and Reap the Rewards
To be successful, it isn’t enough to be just like every other company – playing it safe won’t cut it anymore. Zeke Camusio, CEO of Digital Aptitude, does an incredibly good job of explaining why that is in his blog article, “Why Playing It Safe Is Actually Very Risky.”
Camusio blames fruitless business endeavors on predictability, which can be deadly in an already saturated market. Camusio sees a trend: the “cool” businesses, the ones doing things out of the ordinary, are the ones that get crazy amounts of consumer attention – think TOMS shoes and Jones Soda.
How do you come up with an idea that’s just crazy enough to work? Camusio says the solution is to challenge the basic assumptions in your industry and come up with unique, alternative concepts. For example, if you’re opening a restaurant, challenge your customer’s assumption of asking for a check at the end of her meal by instead offering a monthly membership fee and having her only pay for drinks.
Camusio recommends making a list of 100+ business ideas that challenge customer assumptions and choosing five that you love because they’re daring, off-the-wall, and innovative. These are the ideas you should run by people that you trust to give you honest feedback – because it’s better to hear negative feedback now than later, when you’ve already invested time and money into an idea that might not take off.
Above all, Camusio says to always keep your goal one goal in mind: dream up an idea so radical and so innovative that when people hear about it, they’ll want to tell all of their friends. Remember, Camusio says: You didn’t start using Google because someone marketed it to you. You started using it because someone recommended it to you.
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