Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas

April 9, 2013

Real Fun Begins -- The Customers -- Part 1

Learning is easy, you are just window-shopping what others are up to and consuming what you fancy.  Producing is different, there you have to make some effort and what you produce may not have any taker. Endowed with an almost inexhaustible amount of laziness, our team never suffers from solutions that then need to go looking for problems.

Maybe Relentless, maybe some other books on Japanese marketing. It says that a small market segment you've found in your locale, most likely exist in other parts of the Globe as well.

Guy Kawaski, maybe in The Art of the Start,  keeps saying that the customer of One is a lot better than 100 market research reports!

Muhammad Yunus, the founder of the Grameen Bank, a Nobel Peace Prize winning microfinance organization and community development bank, was once asked in an entrepreneurial program by an aspiring social entrepreneur, about where to begin with her rather ambitious project. He replied that his gradually-big project began with just "one woman who was trying to escape from loan sharks"!

I, by instincts and by hard-won experience, know  that if one person truly enjoys your snacks, they stand a very good chance of doing well town-wide, then region-wide and so on.

This is exciting and fun! I've got more than one customer!

Of course, I won't be able to satisfy even this one customer completely, right now. ( My resources will have to grow in response. They will.)

But, who, which company  has satisfied you completely? Google? Apple?

This is exciting and fun!


  1. Flash foresight – pay attention to where everyone else is looking, and then look in the opposite direction. Looking where
    no one else is looking helps you see what no one else is seeing, and then do what no one else is doing. Take the 360° approach to life.

  2. 1. Start with Certainty (i.e. identify and verify hard trends)
    2. Anticipate (i.e. determine degree of probability of relevant contingencies)
    3. Transform (i.e. leverage technology-driven change)
    4. Skip what you think is your biggest problem (in fact, it isn't...and never was)
    5. Go opposite (e.g. look where no one else does, see what no one else sees, do what no one else does)
    6. Redefine and reinvent (i.e. leverage your unique strengths in new and better ways)
    7. Direct your future (or have someone else will do it for you)

  3. skipping what you think is your biggest problem?

    Whatever problem bubbles up to the top is too large to take action on.
    Look elsewhere.

    One client said that hiring researchers was their biggest problem, but it turns out they actually needed new ideas. The answer was a new model of research that brought in the ideas of a wider network.

  4. "Skip it" offers a surprising strategy for overcoming obstacles: skip them. A company's biggest problem today can be made irrelevant by the extraordinary pace of global change.


    Q: Why do you say we should take our biggest problem and skip it?

    A: The problem you’re having trouble solving is the wrong problem — that’s why you haven’t solved it yet. They only way to find the real problem is to skip the one you think you have. You need to learn how to peel back the layers, like peeling an onion, through deliberate inquiry, until you identify the correct problem and underlying opportunity.


    Grab that problem and attempt to solve it? The problem with trying to solve your problem is that in order to solve it, you engage it, and by engaging it you embrace it-- which often leads to getting your wheels mired in the mud of the problem, stuck in crisis mode and unable to move forward.

    Rather than engaging with your biggest roadblocks by confronting them, often you'll find you can simply leap over them. This is not a philosophy of denial, avoidance, or procrastination. It is a powerful kind of conceptual jujitsu that teases previously invisible crises out into the open, where we can take decisive action to address them.

    The key to unraveling our most intractable problems often lies in recognizing that the problem confronting us is not our real problem; the real problem lies hidden behind the distraction of what we think our problem is. Skipping your biggest problem means stepping outside the flat plane of the existing situation and gaining a clearer perspective, and this often triggers flash foresights that lead to new opportunities far bigger and more productive than you could have imagined based on the original (incorrect) problem you were trying to solve.

  6. e.g. Lilly's problem was, to put it bluntly, no money. Or was it? Actually, the key to solving Lilly's problem was to skip it-- because that wasn't its real problem. The real issue was not hiring more PhDs, it was solving molecular problems.

    So what did they do? They created an online scientific forum called InnoCentive, Inc., where they posted difficult chemical and molecular problems and offered to pay anyone who could solve them.