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  • Business Magic: A Lot of Damn Work

    Envision a world of strategy, structure, details and a slow-march toward incremental milestones.

    When I started Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals, I thought that because I had a clearly defined niche, a low entry barrier – and no competitive leader in our space, all I would need to do is create the website infrastructure, generate some content and wait for the magic of ten million users.

    I learned that there is no magic in magic: to extrapolate magic — consider envisioning a world of strategy, structure, details and a slow-march toward incremental milestones. The more one does not look for magic, the easier to accept the rudimentary processes to create a viable business.

    Most times, the businesses that create magic, are the ones that identify and serve their customers best, not only by what and how they present their goods and services, but how they present the future before it arrives. The greatest thing that Apple does, is create something you don’t know you want.

    So what is the way for forward – how does a magicless company create magic? This is what I think:

    Vision –  Have a vision. What are you trying to do and why – what’s the benefit to you and the customer above money – be specific: is it only viable or a game changer?

    Perspective – Why is your vision what it is– is this your expertise – what gave you this vision– is it somewhat fixed , or will it need to be continually adjusted.

    Distillation – Can’t do everything – yea, I know – you have all these great ideas that will change the world, me too, but what can you actually get done. What will you be able to accomplish with least amount of barriers, and what will you value enough to see it through from conception to completion? How do you know what to pursue, and what to let fall-away – this is real important, because we can become wedded to the more sexy enterprise, as opposed to the one that makes most business sense.

    Strategy – People, places, process and things. Are you the right person to execute: can you find a world class management and support team to help you get there? Where will be the best place for this enterprise to operate? Do you already have a supply chain, vendors, and transportation:  what will be the greatest opportunities for success, what might compromise the whole thing?

    Tactics – How will you execute: will it be a perfunctory methodology or something unconventional. Is it brick and mortar, web based –mobile – maybe all, but how will you get your product or service to the customer consistently and on time?

    Gamechanger –  Value Creation: what will be your competitive advantage: what will be unique – what processes and deployment measures will bring you closer and faster to the customer. What problem will you solve for them – what will you do to bring them the future, right now — and how do you make futurity an organizational idea, experience – a  movement, while also making it cost effective.

    Measurement – How will you discern your effort: what will you measure, why measure that, as opposed to the other thing– how will you build those metrics into your next 60-120 days. What will be different and better because of this valuation?

    So yes, I blew the sexiness of magic: but not really. I am trying to help you understand the reality of your expedition – the one you’re on, or the one you’re considering, so you will embrace the details, the processes and the necessary patience – and hopefully, the diligence and delivery of your offering will indeed bring a sense of magic to you and your customers.

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Gamechangers


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