Hard to imagine that 2012 is almost upon us. My kids are on high alert though because Christmas and Hanukkah are almost here. A sure sign that the New Year is nigh!
This is my third “look ahead” blog post since I started focusing on this blog a few years back. In 2010 my key message was “Focus, Focus, Focus” in 2011, it was “Align your activity with the current business objectives.” Both of those are as valid today as they were then.
My theme for 2012? “In order to Be Different, you have to DO different. “
I currently work in a very crowded technology market space. So crowded that an industry watcher recently penned the blog post we have all thought about. In the post they grabbed 10 tag lines from vendors attending a show to highlight how similar they were. My company was one of the offending parties.
But we are going through a transformation, both for our business, our product set, our competitive set, and for the market overall. And that requires renewed focus on actually being different. A few weeks back over lunch with an industry insider I was previewing some of our upcoming design directions. I explained how we were trying to change how we are viewed in the market…” He gracefully cut me off with a short “Remember what Yoda said?”
“Do or Do Not, There is no Try”
I decided we needed to stop talking about how we are going to change, or how we are going to be different, we actually have to DO different.
I came home that night and challenged my team with that message. When exploring two options, or paths or directions, err on the side of changing the game.
Not that we should do different just for the sake of it, We need to use this strategy as a weapon, and as a guidepost for our planning and decision making process, and most of all, our design approach.
You can see this vision in action with the current design styling on our web site, or the graphics we used at the booth during the show. (I can promise that we definitely looked and sounded different at that show!)
Now surely we will get a few things wrong but as long as we are pushing the envelope, and not just doing something because it’s “the safe approach” then I am ok with it.
We are blessed with a truly differentiated product in the marketplace. It’s time for our activities to reflect that differentiation.