Don’t Call Me Customer, I’m Not An Order Number

My last post talked about the urgent need to create great products as opposed to creating average products. My argument was that customers nowadays are more educated, have a wider view of things and they aren’t sold anymore to good advertising. I also pointed out that your customers can be your brand advocates, or can crush you for a poor service or product through their long reach of networks.

I really liked this video that enforces the message of what I was trying to say last week. New marketing is centered in creating content that adds value to your end customer, that doesn’t interrupt, yet it’s smart, compelling and draws interest to your brand. Enjoy.

Arturo
Twitter: @asanvicente
Email: arturosvy@gmail.com

Let The Age Of Good Products Begin

Yesterday, you could sell average products at a reasonable price with very good marketing. (If you had the resources).

Remember the ab – call-it-whatever-you-want-it-sells?

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Today, globalization just happened to hit developed and in-development countries. And with globalization came hyper competition. And along with hyper competition something happened in the way.

Consumers got smart. 

Consumers are able to judge a product, review it, recommend it, and ultimately if it is bad, brand bash it.

They don’t mind that you spent $100,000.00 USD in branding, advertising & social media. (sorry).

So, as it turns out, you can no longer create crap products.

You actually have to make good products to sell. 

GO OUT THERE AND CREATE GOOD PRODUCTS, INNOVATE, AWESTRUCK US

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Another tip, soon enough, you’ll be able to make your own products. (That means no more excuses).

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The Future Is Traced By Those Who Inspire Us (According to my theory)

Many people are born with a desire to change the world, to make a difference in life. The problem is, that the world doesn’t want to be changed. I believe that changing the world is a wrong approach to life as we know it. I believe that in order to “change the world”, we must assess the bottom-line of this apocalyptic ever ending idea. The world was made what it is today by human beings, and it is mankind responsible for where we are now, and where we will be tomorrow. I believe that in order to make that difference, the answer is not a change, because change takes everything for equal, good or bad. I think that our job is to push humanity further, and in order to push humanity further our job ultimately is to inspire.

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My theory relies on interconnectivity and the amount of synapses that we experience everyday.  It would hurt to think that people who have made a difference in the world did it by being born and not by the amount of experiences they lived. Steve Jobs, a popular icon that declared to “nudge the world”, talked about humans in bicycles, quoting a study made about the locomotion efficiency of species. In such study, the Condor won by far, whereas the human came about a 3rd of the list. Yet someone had the crazy idea to also measure a human riding a bicycle, and it blew the competition away. The human won by a large margin, so he started thinking about the possibilities of a computer. He believed that a computer is that bicycle for humanity and that we were just getting started. That study he read, was one of all the experiences he had, that inspired him. Then he came on and inspired someone else with his creative mind and inability to settle. His largest gift to humanity was his ability to inspire. The iPod was the natural outcome of such inspiration preceded by the iPhone, and look where we are at now.

Today, we are easily enthused by the idea of “the internet of things”, where there is a theory that in less than 5 years, every new technology device will have interconnectivity within itself with at least one other device. That is that down the line, every device will be connected to everything we do, for measurement, tracking, analytics, among other things. This is a total new bicycle that will push humanity further into an unknown challenge-filled future. Then humanity will be inspired by such connectedness and develop an entire new set of accomplishments that will ultimately provide a whole new set of challenges. This will inspire a few, who will then again push humanity further.

In a globalized world where some have the answers for economy and globalization such as China and it’s massive workforce, others like Gary Hamel have in mind the evolution and inevitable future of management, which is a principle where no one has wanted to adventure before. In his studies, he has found how primitive management is, and how human interconnectivity will boost the evolution of it. What about art? to me, by far one of the biggest misconceptions, where people think and declare creations and works of art. Most of all claim originality, one thing that doesn’t exist, because nothing is original in life, everything comes, according to my theory, from inspiration. Yves Saint Laurent and Pablo Picasso to name a popular few, claimed that their work of art came from a muse, their primary source of inspiration.

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Just to add a pint of doubt, the top growing industries today are green and sustainable energy, personal care, online education, social network gaming, mobile apps & 3D printing. As you can see, 4 out 6 are regarding technology, the bicycle of today. Someone just got inspired by 3D printing, and started printing toys. Someone else with a high synapse count came out with the idea that 3D printing could be used to print human parts, and is now printing partial skulls, knees and prosthesis to help people walk. Do you see the uncanny capabilities that we as humans can do with a slight source of inspiration? Have you ever been to New York City and seen the amount and size of the skyscrapers, added the amount of detail of every construction and ever-changing real estate industry? How awesome exactly is our brain!

The more connections we make, the more ideas come to us. The more we want to be exposed to experiences, the faster we get out of our comfort zone and are inspired. That is in fact the entire process hidden behind innovation.

Some pessimists may say that most businesses have already been created, and that hyper competition will attack new emerging business, that brick and mortar will take over in an all-in massive acquisition movement, yet we see that the world is producing more and more indie entrepreneurs, newer and better business ideas, bolder works of art, astonishing new ways of defying life as we know it. Technology boosting creativity and interconnectivity increasing our capacity to relate and have more and more experiences in shorter periods of time.

I say we are just getting started, I say the hope of humanity relies on our capacity to inspire lives. I say that there are hundreds of thousands of possibilities to help humanity close that gap of the world as it is and as it should be. I say humanity is waiting for sources of inspiration and enlightening experiences to transform themselves from within and evolve in to the best species that ever lived.

The world is full of martyrs, but we need heroes. We need you not to try -but to win-, not to want -but to do-, with your passion, your creativity, your drive to inspire us. Give us what you’ve got.

Contaminate us with your inability to pursue the act of being comfortable; to live new moments that make the final cut when we connect the dots in our movie called life.

Inspire humanity. Push us further.

This soup of thought doesn’t have a structure, beginning or ending, it is also not original since it came from several synapses I have been reading about and experiencing as of late. I just thought it would be cool to share.

Best regards,

Arturo San Vicente

Twitter: @asanvicente

Email: arturosvy@gmail.com

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CEO’s Job Description

All in all, the corporate job or entrepreneur dream ends up in being the CEO (for most people). Call it what you want, I know some people don’t like titles, but let’s just say that for the sake of the exercise that the position is CEO.

The CEO has 3 main and most importante duties.

1. Set the vision and strategy for your company. 

Ever seen the ” We develop sustainable products and solutions for our customers in the markets the we participate in”  mission? No timeline, no objective reasoning, no company values in it. What about google’s mission “to organize the world’s information”.  Now does that sound like something you might wanna be part of? I can see them already doing it. 

Acid test, if your employees don’t know your company values, mission or vision, or all of the named, you are doing something wrong. They have no clue where they’re going. If your mission is too generic or difficult to understand, chances are your employees won’t understand it, and far less your customers will know your reason of existence.

2. Build the culture that you want your company to reflect.

Inject some personality in it. If you want your company to be the best company in the world, what kind of people do you need? How will you retain talent? Do you try to retain your employees by giving them more money? Is part of your culture being mercenaries? Maybe you should consider thinking about Zappos, who declared “If we get our culture right, then everything else falls in to place”. They offer their employees thousands of dollars to quit, and most of them don’t take it.

3. Team-building. Hire, fire, manage people.

A players like to play with A players, not B or C players. In fact, allowing B players will cause your A players to leave. If you are the smartest person of your team, your company may be growing as fast as you grow, which in business years it can be as fast as watching grass grow. The reason behind this is that you can’t be the best at everything, it is absolutely impossible, and that is precisely the reason why you hire people in the first place, to make you “better, faster, stronger.” 

I know I said 3, but here’s a bonus for you. “Protect your cash flow”. Don’t run out of cash. It’s hard enough as it is with more and more competitors each day in all industries, you gotta find a way to keep your BOE (Base Operative Expense) as low as possible, and maximize your margins (reasonable for your customers). At the same time look for cash cows to help you stay dry on rainy days and you are set to go. I know, easier said than done, but hey!, that’s the job right?

All my best,

Arturo San Vicente

Twitter: @asanvicente

Email: arturosvy@gmail.com 

 

Source for inspiration: 

http://www.steverrobbins.com/articles/ceojob

 

Cost of Learning

I know I haven’t been writing for a long time now, but I just wanted to find a quick way to get back on the horse and share with you something that has worked for me in the last couple of years, to then find out that I’m not alone in this quest.

Some may call it investing, some may call it education, I kicked the tires and called it “cost of learning”.

2 years ago, I had recently graduated form college, was working in a well known corporate office, read tons of books about business and innovation, but it all wasn’t cutting it.

Not that books, a good job and a college degree are not good, don’t take me wrong, I think that these experiences have helped me in a big way in my life. But I still felt like I needed to learn more about business. I could’ve taken an MBA, changed jobs or read more books, but I went the hard-nosed, head-into-the-wall way and started my own business. How cool! Some may say, how stupid! Some other may say. At the end of the day, I was most of all paying my dues, my “cost of learning”.

Knowing all the terms and saying what I would do in certain business situations felt hollow. The way it is easy to say if I were managing a sports team, I would’ve made such and such changes, and would’ve won the championship… Right, but you weren’t there, and you didn’t have to make that decision.

My cost of learning to become a business owner was paid outright, at first scary because of all of the complications that come with it. Some questioned my decision to quit and venture myself into the abyss. Some still do, telling me that I should’ve waited, or taunt me that I had it coming for me being the way I am. If you know me closely, you then know that my business, in the end, failed.

Smile up, don’t be sorry, I paid my cost, I learned, and I was never down when it happened, because when I went into it, I knew there was a very high probability that this would happen. But there was also a very high probability that I would learn a lot. I am a much better person than I used to be, and have more knowledge about business that no business school was ready to teach me, and no book could actually teach me. Not that they don’t know or don’t say it in their contents, but you actually have to be there and make things happen in order to learn. You have to make big decisions every day, and all management, finance, marketing, sales, HR, operations and such depend on you. The buck stops on you, now I know. I did lose money, but the cost I paid for such important life lesson was minimal, and I am still alive. I encourage you to take risks, because nowadays being safe is the riskiest thing you can do.

I don’t write this to tell you a story about myself, but to push you into taking risks and pay the “cost of learning”. It may not look as pretty as it should because you must pass through some tough, and I mean tough moments, but in the end you will become a much better person.

Compared to these guys… I had it easy…

Business, Sports, Innovation, marketing, entrepreneurship

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