Monday, September 16, 2013

Pursuing WOW!

The Key to Staying Innovative

While attending a dinner party with my wife, we ran into an old friend. Carl Henry is a successful doctor who opened medical clinics throughout New York and the Caribbean Islands. He did this to give back to life by sponsoring several orphanages. As we chatted about ways to help, Carl gets excited and pulls his smartphone from his briefcase…“Let me show you a few pictures of the facilities we are building for the children.”
And there it was as bright as daylight, a cross between a cell phone and a small computer tablet…Samsung’s Galaxy Note. The entire room lit up in living color with the brightest screen I had even seen. This was beyond impressive, this was a game-changer.

Now I am an Apple fan, but the screen on the Note just blew the doors off of what I had expected. Bigger and brighter, it was 70% larger than an iPhone screen but one-third the size of an iPad. And now I understood why Samsung profits surged 79% last year—their smartphones make you go WOW…that is amazing!

Apple’s iPhone and iPad are starting to look pale compared to The Galaxy line of devices. Samsung even knocked competitor Nokia out of second place in 2012.

Samsung has become a Game Changer in what is now becoming The Smart Phone Wars. But more importantly, Samsung is forcing Apple to pay attention…and adapt.

And that is what business is about in the 21st Century. Want to decimate a leader in your market sector? Do it better. Do it faster. And get your customer excited. Not just a good idea, or “hey here’s a new feature”…I mean rock your customer’s world with a WOW improvement!

And because they do it better, Apple and Samsung now dominate 90% of the smartphone market! These two giant competitors understand the mindset of today’s customers—a customer that wants the very best from their digital devices, and recession or no recession, willing to pay for it. So why are so many companies forget that?

Let’s take a deeper look into the mobile device sector. At the beginning of 2012, Google finished their acquisition of ailing cell phone manufacturer Motorola Mobility, for $12.5 Billion. It was even worse by the middle of August, Motorola’s executive team announced the elimination of 4,000 jobs and 27 products. That’s right. Twenty-seven products gone. But here is the most amazing part of this…those 27 products were introduced last year!!!

Astoundingly Motorola was the first company to introduce the first commercial cellphone in 1973…so they should have remained a market leader, (those who create the first of anything usually dominate that market). But they fell behind. And when Motorola introduced the Razr they should have had a comeback. So how did they drop the ball? How could they have created over 27 products that were so bad, Google eliminated them?

Motorola forgot to stay innovative.

Getting rid of 27 products that came out one year ago is a bold move, and probably VERY necessary. Someone at Google realized if they didn’t get rid of them they would be out of business soon. It was a painful decision, but brilliant at the same time. They faced the truth.

Too many choices can leave your customers confused. Which one is the best? Which one is affordable yet has the apps I need? Why are their so many choices, I just need one that works. There is an old expression in business that goes like this “want to fail? Try to please everyone all at once.” So 27 products were just not making the cut…boring and a waste of money. Smart business leaders deal with failure quickly.

So what does this have to do with the market leaders Apple and Samsung? By watching their competitors muddle through the process of attempting to be competitive, we see that the leaders are doing it right in 2 ways: 1) They are keeping us excited with every product they make. That’s the WOW factor I talk about. Samsung’s Galaxy products make you go “WOW, THAT is cool!!!” and 2) they never rest on their glory days of the past… customers do not care about your history—they care about what you can give them today. Today Samsung is Wowing us, tomorrow, Apple will Wow us. Keeping pace is necessary in this day and age, otherwise a company can fall so far being they can’t keep up. The Palm Pilot is a lesson in a company that forgot to keep up. But the bigger lesson in comparing failure to success is…

People buy things that get them emotionally excited.
If a product doesn’t stir the emotions,
don’t expect it to sell.

What can I say? It’s that simple. Just think of the products you like…whether it’s a car company, technology, a device or jewelry, each and every product has a certain sex appeal built in. Look at the digital devices we are comparing here.

Samsung products make even non Samsung users stop and ask “I wonder when Apple will build something like that?”

Apple needs to blow our minds again and again to stay relevant in THIS day and age.

Thanks for stopping by,

Brad Szollose
21st Century Change Agent: Generational expert, award-winning author, business consultant and keynote speaker

Brad Szollose is a much sought-after generational expert, management consultant and keynote speaker who helps smart companies understand just how much technology has transformed corporate culture and behavior… and how that impacts management interaction, expectations and sales in The Digital Age.

But this is not based on management theory: With a 30 year career as an entrepreneur he knows firsthand what it’s like to grow a company from a simple idea in a coffee shop to an internationally recognized brand.

Brad is a former C-Level Internet Executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs—co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company experienced 425% hyper-growth for 5 straight years, expanded from 2 business partners to 4 with 60+ employees and offices worldwide. At its height, K2 was valuated at over $26 million. 

His results only management model (ROWE) was applied to the first wave of young Generation Y workers producing great results—winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.

Brad Szollose is also the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analogue driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

Known for his humorous and thought-provoking presentations, Szollose received the highest testimonial of his career from a C-Level audience member: "I just had my mind blown." Brad’s keynotes and workshops are highly interactive, heart-warming, humorous, and filled with high-content information that challenge assumptions and help leaders and managers create a better work environment for innovation to thrive.

Liquid Leadership has been called "THE guidebook for the 21st Century" and has won the 2011 Axiom Business Book Award silver medal for leadership, The Indie Business Book runner up silver medal as well as becoming a #1 Best-Selling Business Book on Amazon for Organizational Learning. Published in the United States by Greenleaf Book Group, in India by Prolibris and in South Korea by UI Books/Iljinsa Publishing.

Mr. Szollose also writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.

Today, Brad helps businesses close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a Cultural Divide – created by the new tech-savvy worker...and customer. 

* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership

* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York

Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.

Leadership Lessons from a Web Pioneer.

The Art & Science of
Leading a 21st Century Workforce

Brad Szollose's (pronounced zol-us), is a globally recognized Leadership Development and Management Consultant who helps organizations dominate their industry by tapping into the treasure of a multi-generational workforce. 

He shares his management strategies within the pages of his award-winning, international bestseller Liquid Leadership...strategies that ignited his own company, K2 Design, beginning as a business idea in a coffee shop to a publicly traded company worth $26 Million in just 24 short months with an IPO on NASDAQ.

As a C-Level executive, his unique management model was awarded the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation Amongst Employees (the phrase Workforce Culture did not exist back then).

Today the world’s leading business publications seek out Brad’s insights on Millennials, and he has been featured in Forbes, Inc., The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Advertising Age, The International Business Times, Le Journal du Dimanche and The Hindu Business Line to name a few, along with television, radio and podcast appearances on CBS and other media outlets.

Since the year 2010, and the release of his award-winning international bestseller, Liquid Leadership, Brad has created customized training programs for The American Management Association, Tony Robbins Business Mastery Graduates and Liquidnet Holdings, as well as several dozen Fortune 500 companies to name just a few; preparing them for the next generation of business leaders.

Mr. Szollose is also a TEDXSpeaker, and his talk The Age of Radical Disruption, focuses on the impact video games and serious gaming has had on the work habits and behavior of Generation X & Millennials.

Brad’s programs have transformed a new generation of business leaders, helping them maximize their corporate culture, creativity, innovation, productivity and sales growth in the new Digital Age economy.

Brad's work will expose the secrets to managing a cross-generational workforce:

Brad is the author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia: Cross-Generational Management Strategies That Are Changing The Way We Run Things and the publisher for Journeys to Success: The Millennial Edition: 21 Millennial Authors share their personal journeys of failure and success…based on the success principles of Napoleon Hill.