This week, Im at HubSpots Inbound14 a world-class marketing conference in Boston, MA. Its amazing being with ten thousand (?!) other people who get marketing. The speakers have been amazing and though my accommodations are definitely on the sketchy side, its a great time.
Yesterdays opening keynote address was by Guy Kawasaki chief evangelist at one of my favorite companies Canva!!! Hes also smart enough to work with the fabulous Peg Fitzpatrick, and has also worked with some of the worlds most successful companies, including Apple a company which has definitely made history. So, I was looking forward to his part.
Guy is known as a dynamic Enchanting speaker (he wrote the book, Enchantment) and I am happy to say I was not disappointed. There was nothing earth-shattering, but it was interesting to hear about his experiences at Apple. The point I most appreciated was this idea that there is a special corner we should all be aiming for in our businesses.
That Elusive Corner Where History is Made
I really enjoyed his visual depiction of the winning combination of value and uniqueness. A company could be unique and worthless, or valuable, but so ubiquitous that they end up fighting on price which is never a recipe for success.
The example Guy gave was of Pets.com. The idea seemed like a good one people have to buy dog food (dead cows in cans) but they dont want to go out for it, and when they do, they dont want to spend time picking out the best one. They reasoned that, without a physical location, they could discount the products 20%, but failed to see that they would then have to charge shipping which adds the 20% back in. Not super unique and in the end, not valuable, either.
The trick is, being able to see past the hype (which includes your own excitement) to evaluate honestly, whether your business is bound for glory or just another ho-hum or even hopeless business. The good news is that you can change course at any time. Not unique? Become unique! Not valuable? Add value!!!