I remember one of the hardest struggles about accepting the fastlane principles over the years was questions about my source of value. I knew that I couldn't make money for making money's sake, and I had seen enough foolish to believe so fail miserably in their pursuits (hell, at least they tried.) Rather I knew that I would have to bring something to the table that would fill a need, solve a problem, or satiate a consumer's desire. There, however, was the rub: I could never figure out a product/idea/system to bring to bear in the market. I had studied implementation models, but when it came to deriving an actual asset to monetize, it was as though my eyes were enshrouded in fog.
When I was reading the book, something became abundantly clear and I had an epiphany: I was contradicting the very people I had read about in my efforts. I was worried about monetizing first, which as we all know here (or at least should know by now) is business' premiere faux pas! Solve a problem properly and announce your solution, and the money will find you. More over, and this is key, I wasn't addressing the underlying causes of issues in my thought process, rather I was trying to create treatments for symptoms. Most of the success stories and creative inventions addressed underlying causes or issues generally not thought of as being the root cause of an issue (or as MJ states, they address events and not processes). For instance:
- Ben Franklin didn't invent bifocals (event), he was tired of having to keep switching glasses (need based process)
- Henry Ford didn't invent the assembly line (event), he responded to the inability to meet demand due to long assembly times (a process)
- MJ didn't start his first company to make money off an online Limo service (event), he was filling an unrecognized need to create a central place where the aggregate limo companies could be seen by customers on an equal footing (process)
All of these have a common thread of looking outside oneself and seeing something that is not being addressed as well as it could, if at all, and devising a solution to that issue. It has given me a very new and different way of viewing problems, solutions, and value both in the world and the manner in which I create them.
"Brick walls are there to show you how bad you want something." --Randy Pausch
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