I’m writing this thread from 30,000 feet on a flight to St. Louis. I was inspired by SkyMall Magazine, which is my favorite part of flying. They’ve got some crazy and awesome stuff in there. So many cool, useful, and strange ideas. And I wonder – why didn’t I think of the Digital Camera Swim Mask? Couldn’t I have come up with the Bigfoot Tree Statue? Actually, I’m sure that the Peaceful Progression Wake-Up Clock was my idea, but someone beat me to it. And Lawn Aerating Sandals??? I could have built those in my garage!
You’ve had an idea. You’ve thought of some invention. We’ve all had them. So why are we not all rich inventor types? Because a great idea is not enough – not by a long shot. You need product development, marketing, sales, customer service, artwork, meetings, clients, catalogs, employees, websites, strategies, people, associations, trade shows, flights – do I have to keep going? The idea is only the beginning.
Browsing through the various SkyMall treasures, it made me think of the the great idea that is the reason I am on this plane – and on so many other planes before it. Made me think of all the things I have seen and learned over the years – how many people I’ve met and how many places I’ve visited. And this time I’m flying out to win an award, but none of it would have happened without one man and a great idea.
My boss Alan Davis invented something called the CompressT. It’s a printed t-shirt shaped to look like something – a star, a guitar, a house, a pint of beer, or about 1,000 other things. Companies, clubs, and groups, use t-shirts to promote their message at events, giveways, concerts, etc. And shaping them as we do emphasizes the message. But aside from the product, how did Alan get this idea off the ground?
As a smart entrepreneur, Alan knew that he couldn’t accomplish his goals on his own. I’ve been in sales and marketing for a long time and that is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned.
- Admit that you don’t know everything
- Find people to help you
- Let them use their talents to propel your vision
That’s not just how you develop a product, that’s how you build a culture.
Speaking of great ideas – how great is this?