Hit by a flash of inspiration, you decided one day to pursue your dream.
You are all fired up and raring to go. After slaving away for goodness knows how long, you have perfected your recipe for world domination.
Keen to change the world? Want to transform your “caterpillars” into “butterflies”?
Well, former Apple chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions may show you a trick or two.
“Policies are organisational scar tissue. They are codified overreactions to situations that are unlikely to happen again. They are collective punishment for the misdeeds of an individual”
With excerpts like that, you can be sure that Rework by founders of 37Signals Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson isn’t an ordinary book on entrepreneurship. Divided into 12 short chapters on various aspects of business – from progress to productivity and competitors to culture – Rework is a compelling read.
What is the true essence of marketing?
I believe that it can be distilled into three basic questions:
To many of us, Timothy Ferriss is living the dream life. Touting himself as a “serial entrepreneur” and “ultra-vagabond”, the author of the uber bestseller “The 4-Hour Workweek” works from anywhere around the world, pursuing activities as varied as skiing in the Andes, tango dancing in Buenos Aires, or racing motorcycles in Europe.
How does he do it?
Serial entrepreneur and billionaire Lynda Resnick’s book “Rubies in the Orchard” provides a fascinating glimpse into the marketing strategies behind brands like POM Wonderful, FIJI Water, Teleflora and the Franklin Mint. Part autobiography and part business book, the highly readable tome chronicled how Lynda rose from rags to riches and deployed her marketing smarts to seed and grow four highly successful businesses.
Written in a witty and conversational fashion, Rubies in the Orchard presents an in-depth glimpse into four very different industries. In the section on Teleflora, Lynda described how marketing is “all about listening. You want to be the equivalent of a good friend”. She then described how an attribute can be a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) based on the following:
Continuing along the theme of “Zagging” as a business strategy (ie radical but customer valued differentiation), I thought it would be interesting to highlight examples of businesses which apply such “Blue Ocean” strategies in their core value propositions. By offering something radical and unique yet deeply appreciated by their customers and other stakeholders, they are able to stand out in an increasingly hyper-competitive marketplace. This would mean offering a new innovation that isn’t seen in the existing marketplace and competing on different terms from incumbents.
As expected, many of these examples are in the mouth watering F&B industry, but there are also a few cases of consumer oriented innovation in other domains both digital and non-digital.
Small businesses need to learn to be like David when fighting against Goliath (source of image)
What can Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and independent free lancers do to build their reputations, enhance their businesses, and strengthen their reach? With limited resources and finances, how can these entities carve a space for themselves in an increasingly crowded market with competitors possessing deeper pockets, greater resources and fuller teams?
To stand a chance of winning the hearts and minds of consumers, small businesses need to take advantage of their nimbleness, flexibility and agility to outwit and outmaneuver the bigger boys. Competing along the same dimensions will only result in a sorry ending.
Written and illustrated by renowned cartoonist and blogger Hugh MacLeod of gapingvoid.com (he just completed his 10th year in the business), Evil Plans: Escape the Rat Race and Start Doing Something You Love is a business book that reads more like a personal motivation tome. True to MacLeod’s craft, every other page (or more) is peppered with his characteristically abstract and witty cartoons, complete with clever captions.
An example of this is found below:
How do companies like 3M, Apple, Google, Xerox, Siemens and Grameen Bank continually generate game changing products and services?
What can large organisations do to retain talent while building innovative cultures?