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Think Big and Get Out of the “ Shoe ” Business

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  1. Think Big and Get Out of the “Shoe” Business WIRELESS: U/N: guest-3896421 P/W: 98739064 THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE January 28, 2012

  2. Differentiating a 21st Century Business • Allow for greater engagement by consumers in your business and evolve the typical provider-consumer relationships • Create stories and cultures in your business that consumers are integrally part of and help create • Increase accessibility whenever and wherever possible • Results: catapult your business out of its one-dimensional industry vertical (defined by your product/services) and reach a much larger and more dedicated audience THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  3. TOMS vs. Start-up Shoe Brand “X” • “X”, Asian-heritage shoe brand, think “Onitsuka”) – great story, awesome product, no brand loyalty, traditional marketing methods (magazines, trade shows…), retail product confined to “retail” problems • – www.toms.com, “One-for-one”, social entrepreneurship, community participation, non-traditional retail outlets (ie. Wholefoods), decent product with compelling story; own TOMS as a point of pride and participation in something bigger. Out of the shoe business THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  4. Case Study: Consumer • RedBull • www.redbull.com • Difference • Alternative Culture • Extreme sports • X-Games • Films • Not just a “drink” company; only 4 bottled products • Engagement happen our culture they’ve created THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  5. Case Study: Consumer cont’d… • Crowd-sourced Fundraising Platforms • www.kickstarter.com and (Example) | www.profounder.com | www.slated.com etc. • Difference • Crowd-sourced funding • Supporter is both customer, grass-roots founder, and viral market with sense of pride and ownership in product • Purchasing product becomes point of pride and part of story • Not just investing, not just buying. Extremely accessible THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  6. Case Study: Consumer cont’d… • Local Motors “Rally Fighter” • www.local-motors.com • Difference • Community of enthusiasts • Industry with very high barriers to entry • New model for participation and involvement • More than just a car company; engaged “gear-head” community that is part of growth story and increase accessibility by lowering barriers THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  7. Case Study: Consumer cont’d… • Fashion/Manufacturing Industry • www.etsy.com • Difference • Culture of craftspeople and “tinkerers” glorified • “Anyone can” • Purchases show vendor support: business model that aligns perfectly with services provided • Not just a flea market  Online world market; engagement and accessibility are obvious THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  8. Case Study: Charity • Volunteering Models • www.catchafire.com • Difference • Build culture of high-value volunteerism (skills-based) • Answering volunteer needs of corporations • Participation by enthusiasts and aligned with their interests • Not just “Soup Kitchen” volunteering; accessibility to volunteer opportunities and engagement though providing your own expertise to things that matter THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  9. Case Study: Charity cont’d… • Water (and Entertainment) • www.charitywater.com • Difference • Entertainment and Charity • Continually remind donors of their role in the story: visual • Repositioning of talents by founder • From the club to the trenches • Not just charity; constant engagement through beautiful, visual, experiences on the website THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  10. Case Study: Charity cont’d… • Lending Models • www.kiva.org | www.wokai.com |www.grameenfoundation.org | www.endeavor.org • Difference • Remove traditional lenders and barriers to entry • Be part of your giving story; point of pride • Not just “giving” THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  11. Case Study: Curation • News Models • www.huffingtonpost.com | news.ycombinator.com (HackerNews) | www.twitter.com • Difference • Curation • Badges to feed the ego • Anyone is a reporter, exponential participation • Not top-down “news” as we know it; in your face immediate accessibility THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  12. Case Study: Curation cont’d… • Music Industry • www.napster.com | www.soundcloud.com | torrents | turntable.fm | Spotify.com (facebook feed) • Difference • Be a tastemaker and get credit • Music as a sharing, not “owning”, experience; back to roots • Anyone can participate and create/curate content • Not just printing and buying records, engaging connoisseurs around music the way it should be THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  13. Case Study: Education • Education Models • www.tutorspree.com | www.khanacademy.org and (Example)| Thought into Action • Difference • Disrupting tradition and leveling playing field • “Teachers” are not the only teachers • Platforms for educators to create online identities and build their own business • Not traditional education; democratized and unprecedented accessibility THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  14. Old vs. New • Old School: • “A portion of our proceeds are donated to…” • Franchises • Multi-level Marketing; Tupperware, Cutco • New School: • Skills-based, open-sourced, curated, social, crowd-sourced, crowd-funded, distributed, badges and internet identity, THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  15. Takeaways • Let customer/supporter/enthusiast do some of the work; they’re happy to if you cater to their culture • Provide platform that solves problems of your target audience and enables them to grow their identity/brand and business • Engage participants actively in your story and constantly remind them of their connection to the business and correlation with its growth • Constantly brainstorm methods for increased engagement and participation THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE

  16. Links for finding inspiration • www.avc.com • www.wired.com • http://news.ycombinator.com • http://paulgraham.com/articles.html • www.huffingtonpost.com • www.mashable.com • www.fastcompany.com • http://37signals.com/svn • www.steveblank.com and http://steveblank.com/tools-and-blogs-for-entrepreneurs/ • http://www.paulgraham.com/ • http://groups.google.com/group/lean-startup-circle • http://www.markpeterdavis.com/ • http://bhorowitz.com/ • http://abovethecrowd.com/ • http://tomasztunguz.com/ Tools: • www.instantdomainsearch.com • www.hotgloo.com • www.github.com • www.launchrock.com • www.mailchimp.com • www.asana.com or www.basecamphq.com Some basic things I wish I had followed and learned to use in college: THOUGHT INTO ACTION INSTITUTE