You have an idea.
You think it’s awesome.
You get pretty psyched about it.
Maybe you mentioned it to a friend or two.
Maybe you can mention it to your mom.
Looks like it could be “one” – although behind your mind, you know that the “perfect idea” doesn’t really exist.
So you start the process of “launching” the creation of the world. Start doing all the things you think you can do right away to start spreading the word about your awesome new business
- Get a new logo designed (“OMG what should be the color of my brand? We have to be in the brand !!)
- Open a Twitter account and Facebook fan page (“We need to make sure we’re engaged !!”)
- Set Up a Business Checking Account / Get Business Card … (WTF?)
Then you tweet a few more, gossip and stagger … and wait.
Nothing else happens.
No one retweets or shares. Someone hit your site. Someone donate your Kickstarter. No one is talking about you.
Especially when you see other startups / ideas that seem to come from somewhere and blow up.
Did you do wrong Is there any way to turn this thing around?
Or is your idea just bad?
This week, as I was re-reading Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, I was reminded that there are usually 3 reasons why ideas don’t stop – and if you don’t know what they are, there’s a good chance your idea will flop, too.
Now, without further ado – 3 Reasons Why Your Idea Is Not Closing (And What To Do About It)
I’m a little scared to type it in public, but I’ll just go ahead and say it …
Apple no longer makes the best smart phones.
The iPhone does not have the maximum features. It doesn’t come together and can’t play nicely with everything. The operating system is neither the best nor the fastest – neither is the camera. The phone is not the most durable and its price is much higher than other phones in the market.
(Glad I got it from my chest …)
IPhone 6? Well, I got it. And to say the least – it’s underwhelming.
But look at the market once and you will have no idea. The launch of the iPhone 6 broke all previous records and sold billions of dollars before the phones hit stores.
If they are no longer the best phones, how will they continue to crush sales and brand price competition?
Simple: Apple competitors (I see you, Samsung and Microsoft!) Try to beat Apple… more “Apple-e.”
Over the years, Apple has run successful campaigns joking about the flexibility of Microsoft computers. Microsoft then started making parodies of these parodies.
Apple has released the iPhone. Microsoft, are you there?
Apple released the iPad in 2010. It took Microsoft two years to complete the Surface (and it wasn’t that good).
And of course, Microsoft realized 10 years late that opening a retail store was a good idea. So what do they do? Just copy the shit from Apple.
It’s … dude … let’s go. Is it a joke?
Wherever Apple goes, Microsoft takes at least 2 years to get to the party – and instead of coming up with new ideas and real reasons for why they’re the best choice, they’re content to copy what they’ve already done, then why shouldn’t you choose Apple? Tell me.
They’re trying to prove it better, they’re inadvertently advertising their competition – and Apple is trying to “make an up” of Apple by making small changes to the technology it already has and saying, “Are you overwhelmed? We even talked on our phones … and that’s great!”
Samsung does the same thing with the “next big thing” campaign – which literally means they’re not the big thing right now.
These two companies, despite having improved products in some cases, try to outdo Apple by just “Apple-Y.”
But that is impossible.
Apple’s whole existence is built on fun and tranquility. Don’t try to be smart or cool.
Apple’s design focus is clear and modern. Don’t try to be better in their aesthetics than they are.
And for God’s sake, don’t let your only difference be that you have more speed than X. ApplesMore power than Y. Apples Or more properties than Z. Apples.
Are you making the same mistake with your idea?
Sometimes, it’s better to differentiate yourself by being a little better at a few categories than your competition. But is that all you are going for?
So many people want to start the next Facebook.
“I’ll start a new social network – like Facebook, without a good news feed!”
You will never win.
Even if yours is really good, Facebook has covered it. They are already known for their news feeds. You’re not going to get them out of Facebook.
So your idea is a solid look.
Is it just a rehearsal of an idea, just an original version that someone else has already locked down? If so, do something else.
And while you’re at it, tell Microsoft and Samsung ৷ They need help.
So this great little cafe down the street from my house is known as 50’s Cafe.
Something interesting is happening here …
The food is pretty good – not much better or worse than IHOP or Denny.
The location is decent, but not the best.
But every weekend, this place is packed. I mean slammin ‘.
IHOP is about 1 mile away, extra সাথে with tables but you can’t even get a seat in the 50’s cafe. WTF?
I found out that one day I was eating breakfast.
The waitress gave us the check, I gave her my debit card, and she looked at me as if I were a fool.
“We only accept cash. Can’t see the sign? “
Sure, there were signs everywhere. To go with the theme of their restaurant (50’s), they do not accept credit or debit.
At first, I thought it was a big pain in the ass.
And I thought they were stupid.
Why would a restaurant voluntarily reject thousands of dollars in business because they do not accept modern payment systems? But sure enough, the place was always packed – and I started to see why.
What was originally controversial has actually made the restaurant special.
The conversation is like this:
Hey, do you want to have breakfast?
Sure. Let’s go to the 50’s cafe.
A. I have no cash.
Isn’t it very inconvenient that they do it?
Yes, I wonder why the owner decided to do it. Crazy idiot.
I’ve never heard of a restaurant refusing to pay. That industry is tough enough.
Anyway, I’m hungry. Is there an ATM nearby?
And the owner is not that dumb – because guess what …
He placed an ATM just outside the door. Ha ha ha.
What if he was too scared to do this “cash only” policy?
He had a regular, totally extraordinary dinner.
There will be nothing to separate him from any other breakfast joint in the block – and of course nothing to talk about.
That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there.
Does his policy bother some people? Sure. But he was not afraid to make some people mad to stand up.
Are you urinating enough people?
If not, you should.
Here’s what you need to realize: Playing it safely is literally the most risky thing you can do. The fastest way to get purposefully mixed, not too “different”, not wanting to “swing the boat” or forgetting some feathers.
Your customers have a choice. They have a lot of choices … and one of the best ways to get their attention is to do something out of the ordinary.
Out of line which is traditionally seen as acceptable.
When you do this, some people will be upset. It is inevitable. But if you just turn on an idea, you can’t play it safely. You can’t paint inside the line and you can’t notice.
Just remember, love and hate usually come in equal amounts. If you have 5 people who hate what you’re doing, there are probably at least 5 people who think it’s great – because it speaks to them directly. Focus on those people.
Raffle some feathers.
First, let’s take a look at what “significant” actually means.
It’s not some weird, secret super quality.
Basically … it just means “worthy of comment.”
Is what you are doing worthy of talking to other people about their time from day to day?
Things that are significant don’t require the user to be persuaded or pushed to share like crazy.
Examples of notable products / services that I can’t help but complain about other people:
- 23 and I. – A great genetic testing service that gave me insights into my whole family lineage. Never seen this technology before last year. Definitely worth commenting on.
- Uber – Especially when it was first published a few years ago. Imagine the ability to call a car in command. Life-changing. Now they are doing helicopter rides in LA for random winners. Again, significant.
- Metroflex Long Beach – Undoubtedly, the best gym on the planet, full of the most intense people you will ever meet. City Fletcher’s home. Part Colosseum, part Hell. A peat bull named Bentley lives there and roams the gym floor.
- Founder Magazine – A leading digital magazine that creates EPIC content for aspiring and novice entrepreneurs and connects them with their game’s top founders like Richard Branson, Ariana Huffington, Tim Ferris and many more!
These are just a few examples of products / services that have “X-factor”. That little special thing that makes them look relevant makes them worth talking about.
I am proud to spread the word because I want to see these kinds of businesses do well and conquer the world.
Why isn’t your idea significant?
My guess is because you tried so hard to copy someone else. (# 1)
Or you may be afraid of being rejected. (# 2)
Go to Detergent Isle. There are tide, gain and some more awesome brands that I have never promised in my memory. I have no choice but to buy what my mother has always bought (tide).
But none of those products stand out. They are products and as such, they don’t care about being significant. They just want to maintain market share.
Your idea is new. It has no market share. People don’t know about it. And they don’t care.
You have to make it so good that people like to talk. You have to be so good that they can’t ignore you.
That’s how you make it awesome.
If not, go back to the drawing board.