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  • Hear Nothing: Only See What’s There and Measure

    The key is separating what’s actually possible, from what’s probably only hyperbole or promotion.

    As the leader of Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals, I continue to have discussions on how to capture lightening in a bottle – and how entrepreneurs can turn something pedestrian into something great, or something non-existent into a viable enterprise.

    I believe due to business becoming more democratic, as a result of the internet and fewer financial barriers to start a company – there is a tremendous amount of noise out there – there are  too many businesses that their business is adding to the noise and not adding value. The key is separating what’s actually possible, from what’s probably only hyperbole or promotions. So, I figured out a way for you discern an opportunity: be able to see it and measure it.

    I am for the futurity of innovation and the welcoming of the next Steve Jobs, but as much as we need that breakthrough, that’s such an esoteric area, so do what’s possible, and then parlay more robust features as you find out more about customer preference and your own abilities to stretch. One of the things that differentiated Jobs, was that he knew when to stop innovating – he would say, “No, don’t add that – keep it simple: now ship it to them.” In terms of finding breakthroughs, it’s not necessarily always throwing the ball down the field – it might be finding a disruption in the way we already do something good now – and considering how that disruption would make something far better – – cheaper, more accessible – and who and what would benefit from this thing?

    My advice to our members: hear nothing. Shut out the noise – stop entertaining the brilliant plans and PowerPoint decks. Only be interested in what you can see, affect and measure. That’s where change and innovation happens, not in a corporate communications department, but in the area that houses prototypes, customer information and world-class operations. There is nothing more exciting and liberating than using our brainpower for a moon shot, yet most of us focus on the moon so much, that we forget  how to recognize the difference between an opportunity and something quixotic — the difference between what’s possible and what’s posing.

    If you want to deliver performance – excellence – disrupt your present or future thing – blow it up and rebuild it “ten years from now” – and measure it against the best-in-class in your space: whether you end up being presently surprised or abjectly deflated by this experiment – get to work – and have fun becoming something important.

    Good luck.

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

    Filed Under: Gamechangers


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