David Epstein’s research got me thinking about how I’m approaching the creation of Brain Brew Custom WHISKeY and Franchising at age 62 versus when I founded Eureka! Ranch & AcuPOLL at ages 25 and 30.
There are three things I am doing differently today:
- I am More FANATICAL about Product & Service WOW! At the risk of frustrating my marketing friends – I believe today – as I was taught at P&G – that all brands start from a product that makes a Meaningful Difference. Then – you use marketing to tell the world about your product wow! Product wow makes trial, repeat, and additional repeat purchases much easier. When your offering is a “me too” marketing, economics, distribution, awareness – everything takes more time, energy, and money. When a sales prospect first tastes our Bourbon – you can see in their eyes the amazement before they even speak. Product or service WOW takes a ton of creativity and cycles of learning to develop. However, the return on investment is incredible. Quite simply – in my 60s no WOW means – no project, product, service, or business.
- Math is the Secret to Innovations that WIN – Doing the “math” on sales, profits, marketing, and production help to guide my thinking and decision making. I find that when the conversation is grounded in math my team confronts realities that might be missed without the math. To be fair – it is a ton easier to do math today with the tools the Eureka! Ranch team has built for Innovation Engineering students. Basically, with today’s tools, there is NO EXCUSE for not knowing the math on your business and products – tools for Fermi estimating, Fourt-Woodlock sales forecasting tools, system charting, and even risk-adjusted and pain-free 5 year Monte Carlo sales & profit simulations (Where the computer “introduces” your business 10,000 times and estimates your probability of various outcomes.) As a 62-year-old – no MATH means – no project, product, service, or business.
- Never-Ending Work on CLARITY – I’ve learned that the more innovative the offering the more difficult it is for potential customers to “get it.” Discovering how to communicate the wonders of your WOW offering in today’s micro attention span world requires never, ending thinking, creating, reinventing, testing, and reinventing. And just when you think you’ve got it – you begin again. In my 60’s my respect for the ability of customers to “not get it” is infinite – I am fanatical about improving clarity.
If you’re young – don’t stress – rent yourself or borrow an old person. Just make sure you find one who is still dreaming and taking action on dreams. BE SURE TO AVOID – old people who are Prudent, Proper, and Puckered.
As Jimmy Buffet sings in his song BOOK ON THE SHELF – from his recent album Life on the Flip Side.
“So pour me another, it’s good for my health I’m not ready to put the book on the shelf”