The 21st Century Demand for Creative Entrepreneurship, and How to Take Advantage
The definition for "business" in past centuries and for several years into this one might be summed up as “providing goods and services to satisfy human needs and desires.” But, today, this basic concept alone won't fly if you want to thrive and find yourself a piece of the entrepreneurship pie.
Indeed, there are already more than enough people supplying goods and services to customers. Today, those customers are looking out for the spectacular. Today, creativity, innovation and out-of-the box are the factors spurring success. So, if you have an absolutely “crazy” idea, you may be closer to success ithan you would have been several decades ago.
The most popular “crazy” idea in recent years has been Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. Using the internet mainly for social purposes was an alien idea 15 years ago, but Facebook and other social media sites have totally revolutionized the use of the internet and launched today's social media phenomenon.
That doesn't mean that many more possibilities for creativity aren't waiting to happen. How can you get something started from your own creative leanings? Here are some tips:
1. Forget "the norm."
Consider that the norm is changing for so many things: People are ready and eager for the spectacular. And whenever it appears, it gets results over and above the average.
Indian entrepreneur Raj Singh took advantage of this trend and founded Dronecast with an idea: to advertise via the use of drones. Imagine being engrossed in your work and suddenly seeing a flying banner sweep past your office window, enticing you to come have lunch at the corner restaurant.
What is particularly interesting about the Dronecast concept is that it utilizes the “wow factor” to get free, third party advertising: People will always want to shoot photos of a drone and its banner and share on social media. Then, voila! Free advertising.
So what ‘crazy’ idea do you have? Stay tuned for your own fresh, new business ideas. And, when they come, act on them immediately; that's what recent consumer behavior favors. Once you create a “wow,” you'll get on social media, and that will almost certainly convert to followers and likes.
2. Convert people’s obsessions into business ideas.
A lot has been said about making money from your hobbies and passions, but what about using other people’s hobbies?
I remember many years ago when I first started seeing what was called “viewing centers” around the cities in my home country. These viewing centers were an instant hit because they were set up so people could catch every football match in the English premier league and the Uefa Champions league.
These centers started as a fad, but when the fad overlapped with the high cost of cable TV subscriptions, viewing centers took off.
Another example? I was recently surprised to learn that Lourdes University in Ohio had started offering scholarships for people wanting to become professional video gamers -- meaning that they would play video games for a iving.
The message here was that things have gotten serious in the gaming industry -- if they weren't so already. What are people crazy about in your area? How can you help them follow those passions while making money for yourself? If you think your idea is just a hobby or a pastime for people, you may be wrong.
If it's a reigning fad, that means there's an opportunity there. This is the 21st century, after all, and anything is possible.
3. Capture your ideas anytime, anywhere.
Remember that those creative ideas can jump out of nowhere at unexpected time and places. So, forget trying to hold on to all of them in your brain -- which may be the one thing you should not trust.
When you see an inspiring ad in the subway, for instance, store it. When you scribble some drafts on a napkin over lunch with your colleagues, hold on to it. When a prophetic thought pops into your head in the shower, capture it.
Next, rethink these ideas and polish them into something more realistic. Sometimes, as crazy or dumb as an idea may sound in the beginning, it can grow into an unicorn business. Airbnb, for instance.
4. Think "on-the-go" products and services.
What kinds of products can you think up for people on the go, to make their mobility easier? I call these businesses on-the-go businesses and they are a category where new product ideas have succeeded. I mean, there are on-the-go supermarkets, mobile canteens and even mobile toilets these days.
In conclusion, remember that ideas rule the world. That has never been more true than it is today, a time when ‘’crazy ideas” seem to be making up the lion's share of all ideas.
Now, go make that "crazy" dream of yours come true!