OMP#51: When Opportunity Becomes Dangerous

When written in Chinese the word “crisis” is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity. ~John F. Kennedy, address, 12 April 1959

The Swiss invented the digital watch way back in 1972.  But the Japanese took it to market not long after with such gusto and innovation that they are mostly credited for it today.

The Brits invented Facebook 14 years ago.  But the Americans did it so much better in 2004 that it took hold of the world.

Amazon got greedy with international book delivery fees.  So The Book Depository stepped in and now has one strapline:  ”Free Delivery Worldwide”.  The site is taking market share off Amazon daily.

The world is ripe with opportunity.  And sometimes we take advantage of it -we pounce and produce something that the world needs.

But the secret isn’t seeing opportunity. Right now there are 50,000 great inventions sitting in sheds, largely incommunicado.

The real secret is the communication: how we  shout out our message to the world in a timely and motivating manner.

That’s why shows like Dragon’s Den are so popular – the dragons mostly have highly effective mouths, and can move target markets to action.

Great communicators understand that focused, effective, snappy messages sweep through markets and audiences like a pandemic.

Pioneers of great products and services need to spend less time on product tweaking, and more time on product tweeting.  Less time on instruction books, and more time on facebook.  They need to craft their message, think about their target market and build a superb message that hits the market right where it counts, just like The Book Depository.

The Chinese are right.  Opportunity is dangerous when it’s poorly communicated.  It’s the way you say it that counts.

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