Why "New" Business Ideas Suck

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Scenario: "Dude, let's read more business books, learn crazy new innovative practices, so we can be more creative and make billions. Then we'll buy Porsches. Yay!" It's the rage these days: New "exciting, innovative, spectacular" business ideas. The "cutting-edge" manager's typical conversation:

  1. Bob: Kristin, I just learned about something called, "Positioning".
  2. Bob (again): We have to position our products in a way that captures customer's hearts into believing our product's position! Yay!
  3. Kristin: Okay.
  4. Bob: Implement it!
  5. Kristin: How?
  6. Bob: Read the book. You'll figure it out.

And what typically results? Nothing. Not only that, but while "cutting-edge" managers and leaders go looking for a quick-fix to their problems:

  • Customer questions go unanswered.
  • Employee problems go unfixed.
  • Salespeople run out of leads.
  • Senior managers become unfocused.
  • Etc. Etc. Etc.

New ideas. Fresh practices. Innovative buzzwords. Uh-oh.

Says the late-great Harvard marketing guru, Theodore Levitt:

Those who extol the liberating virtues of corporate creativity over the somnambulistic vices of corporate conformity may actually be giving advice that in the end will reduce the creative animation of business. This is because they tend to confuse the getting of ideas with their implementation -- that is, confuse creativity in the abstract with practical innovation; not understand the operating executive's day-to-day problems; and underestimate the intricate complexity of business organizations.

The minute you're latching on to a "fabulous new business idea," watch out: that idea will distract you from what you really need to do:

Concentrate on the Frickin' Basics

Go back to the basics. We've filled Trizoko with those basic ideas, but here are some prominent ones:

  1. Know why you exist.

    Peep this:
    • The railroad industry killed itself because most companies thought they were in the railroad industry -- not the transportation industry.
    • The newspaper industry is killing itself now, thinking they're in the newspaper industry instead of the information industry.

    Kick-ass businesses don't define themselves by what they do -- because well, all business ideas eventually become obsolete anyway. Instead, kick-ass businesses define themselves by something that will never become obsolete. And, sure it's mushy, but it's the best advice we've ever received: Your business purpose should be your guiding star; you're continuously striving to reach it, but you'll never get there.
    • Disney did it with their mission to make people happy.
    • Walmart did it with providing luxuries to those disadvantaged financially.
    • And with its recent acquisition of YouTube, Google's doing it with organizing useful information for the world.

    Those companies will keep on kicking ass.
  2. Know where you kick ass.

    Equally important, know where you don't kick ass.
    • Paris Hilton shouldn't teach.
    • Charles Barkley shouldn't act.
    • Tom Cruise shouldn't sing.

    You shouldn't: ________________. Know where you rock the world, and start doing it like the badass we know you are. An inner-Michael-Jordan exists in each and everyone of us and our businesses. If you don't think so, you just need to discover what that is -- 'cause it's there for ya. When you kick ass at what you do, you do it 43242395023523% quicker, you do it ridiculously more passionately, you become obsessively focused, and you build your crazy business that rock the mutha flukka world and its children. You also have much more fun doing it.
  3. Stop thinking. Start doing.

    Flow charts, marketing strategies, business plans, buzz-freakin-words that just waste your time: trash those suckas. When you start thinking, you become stagnant. Nothing moves forward. Why? When you're in the trenches, your plans will change anyway. It's a time-waster doing something that won't be relevant a year from now. The usual entrepreneur's first experience:
    • Day 1: "That author told me to write a comprehensive business plan! He said it'll take at least a year, and I should have fun doing it. Yay!
    • Month 2: Still writing, researching, making flowcharts, making diagrams.
    • Month 6: Making financial projections, talking with "business experts".
    • Year 1: "Oh no! The business plan isn't perfect yet. That $500/hr business consultant said I needed it done perfectly."
    • Year 2: "Still not perfect..."
    • Year 3: "Whatever. Let's just start."
    • Year 3+: Doesn't use the plans, whatsoever: "$!@%!"

    When you start doing, you understand with absolute clarity what your company needs to do next. That's a jillion times better than following the theoretical crapola those business "experts" say "you just need to do." Don't believe us? Ask any successful business person how a business plan made their companies successful. Most either:
    • completely ignored it, or
    • said the business plans did nada to make their companies successful

    A "doing" approach gets you doing what matters for the business now and for the future: answering customer questions, boosting employee morale, drive new sales, and train managers to be the kick-ass people you know they are.

You can read the most fabulous, new, "rocking", ideas of this year; but, if you focus on just the above 3, we promise you you'll be much better off with your business. Rock on. The template:

"My badass will concentrate on the basics."

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Posted on October 11

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