Can you live with uncertainty?
The randomness of what can happen next
Picasso created 50,000 works of art during his life time. Richard Branson has launched over 400 new ideas for businesses in his working life. Rovio had developed over 50 games before it produced Angry Birds. So what. So what's my point? The creation of a successful business is not an accident, it is actually the result of adaption of ideas and successful trials that reach an end product.
Now with more than 1.2 billion downloads since 2009 with Angry Birds, Rovio seem to have arrived from nowhere to be a major player in the gaming world. The perception is Rovio have derived this success overnight and have come from nothing to achieve great things, but in reality they had to create a number of games before they could get the formula right.
Innovation is not guaranteed at any level and you must prepare yourself to make 'mistakes' perhaps something very unBritish but then ask yourself, how can you create success without learning from failure?
Share, the secret to finding success
The ethics of getting something original to market are changing. The internet has allowed the opportunity to reach millions of opinions and end-users to produce a wealth of consultation and diversity. Web sites like Quirky have harnessed the power of getting a product to market with it's client base already formed, removing all but the smallest risk of failure. No longer do companies slave month after month over concepts and develop products that the world perhaps doesn't need. Social Media has changed forever the exclusivity of the 'launch' with many organisations releasing 'leaked' images of new ideas creating instant and reactive feedback and discussion. This allows a manufacturer to tweek his product for the waiting consumer to have their high expectations met and hopefully exceeded. There are companies who have successfully harnessed this to great effect. You have to look again at Steve Jobs and his performance on stage presenting his new products with glee and a certain smugness as he safely re-affirmed Apple's status as the leading technology company. This ease of delivery was based on the knowledge that the products were already previewed all over the internet and all but the ill-informed already knew what was coming next.
Don't forget your brand
For many businesses design has become 'fluffy' - the last 10% to get a project noticed before it launches, the final act before a new business starts.
Too many businesses suffer the loss of well crafted marketing and it has cost them dear. One of the largest clients I have worked with over the last seven years have gone from £4m turnover to £10m during that time. Now I'm not going to say that is exclusively about brand design and marketing, but in a way this has been pivotal. Many competitors came and went, merged, changed their product offering, modernised their products, but what kept this company close to their clients? Branding and marketing, this company looked after its clients giving the re-assurance they are still trading, the re-assurance they are still operating and able to exhibit, able to show their peers that they are strong and moving their business forward even when times were tough.
Creativity - financial indulgence or same old rehash?
What makes us creative? According to a management consultant many years ago, creativity was not a real talent but merely a repeat exercise of processing information and interpreting it commercially. Hmm. Twenty years later I actually agree with him. We are all influenced by our surroundings and what we are exposed to on a daily basis. All designers are sucked in by what appeals to them, they feel the need to know what is contemporary and are unforgiving about what is done badly. But what I have noticed is that we have all become designers by nature of the internet. Most clients now have strong positional ideas about their company brand, the number of design "shock" and "wow" projects are few - only the greatful nod of yes that's what I need is the response to a world increasingly design expectant. The role of designers is now to indulge a clients' taste with visual representation and is rarely allowed to create that moment of risk and genius to truly capture it's audience's gasp beyond the paying client's parameters.