January 17, 2013

Getting There

You're standing here, in this field.

Riches are to be had, over there, in the mountains.  Social ... mobile ... local.  A targeted and highly relevant notification on a Samsung phone that will cause you to spend $80 you don't even have because the highly relevant notification was so engaging.

Just one little problem.

It's hard to get there, isn't it?

We're taught to build a bridge to the future.  With three hundred foot pilings and a six lane structure that spans twenty-six miles, we transport our customers from this fenced-in, highly protected meadow to the rugged, mountainous, highly profitable future visualized across the strait.

The minute you build the bridge, two things happen.
  1. Many of your customers don't like the bridge, choosing instead to frolic in the grassy meadow.
  2. Somebody flies an airplane to the mountains for the customers who want to go to the mountains.  This is a lot cheaper than the bridge you built, rendering your solution obsolete.
Pundits accurately articulate the importance of getting to the mountains.  They cannot tell you how to get to the mountains, and when they tell you how to get there, you fail, because pundits don't know your customers ... only you know your customers.  

Does a 59 year old Baby Boomer want to check in via Foresquare?

Thoughtfully consider whether you fly a few customers to the mountains ... or you build an expensive bridge so that all of your customers can get to the mountains ... or you simply build a new business over in the mountains.