“If you don’t love it, you’re going to fail.” – Steve Jobs
How do we break the mold and challenge the status quo in our business? The answer is simple – we persevere. And how do we persevere? When we have passion for what we do. We talked to Fred Cary, CEO of IdeaPros, about the most successful companies that broke the mold and how they achieved it.
When you start a business, you can go along with the crowd and try to find your position in it or you can find a whole new way of doing business that doesn’t happen overnight. The companies you see today as innovative spent 20 or 30 years struggling somewhere in the middle. The moment they decided to come up with a new solution and look at the competitors’ inefficiencies is the moment they started taking the path of innovation. It’s going to be more compelling, more sticky, and will garner a significant market share instead of fighting over that same little sandbox that everybody else does.
Let’s look at some of the examples of companies that turned from competitors to market leaders:
Apple started in 1976. For almost 30 years, they were a personal computer company and not the best out there neither. They had less than 5% market share and sales were up and down. They ended up firing Steve Jobs, who created his own company. Years later, Apple acquired it, and Jobs became interim and then permanent CEO. When this change happened, Apple started changing. Their innovation was based on simplicity.
“Apple’s innovation was taking something complicated and making it simple.” – Fred Cary
Computers were hard to use back then. Apple brought simple operating systems, easy-to-use interfaces, good appearance, and steady customer support. They became the first trillion-dollar company because they offered the perceived value of being different.
How do you innovate the coffee bean and water to sell it for 4 dollars? Because they’re not selling the coffee bean or the water. They’re selling the experience. Their innovation was taking this experience of just a cup of coffee that everybody wants and putting the warm fuzzies around it. When you go to Starbucks, you become part of the club, part of a tribe. You don’t go to get a cup of coffee, you go to Starbucks.
“Starbucks’ innovation was taking a simple experience, experiment, and turning it into an event.” – Fred Cary
Amazon started selling used books in Jeff’s garage and changed the mentality we had in making acquisitions. All of a sudden, we had everything available to us at the tip of our fingers. This baby computer you could read books with expanded to a place you can buy anything at. The funny thing is that now they have an actual brick-and-mortar bookstore with the very thing they started at. They killed the complete industry and made it full circle.
“They are always trying to do something different.” – Fred Cary
But they don’t stop there. They keep innovating and expanding so that over half of the purchasing decisions in the U.S. are made through Amazon.
Electric cars have been around for a long time. But the first electric cars were slow, with a limited range, and not a great visual experience of the interior. Elon Musk created the new electric car that went from 0 to 60 faster than a Lamborghini with the latest technology and impeccable design.
“Elon Musk turned the electric car into a must-have next-generation thing it should have been all along.” – Fred Cary
They did it because they’re crazy and have passion for what they do. You don’t have to be the first to be the best. But you have to think out of the box. Look around you and ask yourself what you can do differently. Learn about your customers, follow their behavior, and how it is changing. Let go of the rigid timeline and focus on the success timeline.
“Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo.” – Fred Cary
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.