Thursday, July 06, 2006

Attitude & Innovation

I just read this wonderful little book recommended to me by a friend - The Alchemist.

One message really sticks out in the book, paraphrased - "when you really want something (your personal legend), the universe conspires to help make it happen." This stands out as I've experienced it on several occasions, both personally and with people I know. It's a very hopeful message and whether you believe it or not, there is something to be said about having the right attitude in pursuing your objectives in work, at play, in life.

The right attitude can go a long long way.

A can-do attitude in particular, is an awesome force to have in a shop that has to innovate. If you need to do anything new, whether that is installing a new application, tailored to your organization's needs or building the next iPod, a strong team of with a no-can-do attitude is like kryptonite in superman's hands; totally debilitating .

Santiago had a can-do attitude and he sought out his personal legend with success. The guys that built the iPod had a can-do, winning attitude, despite being pretty late to the digital music game. I guarantee you the mass market has no idea what the Diamond Rio is as a result.

A can-do attitude is always going to get high marks, whereas a no-can-do attitude is debilitating, and rarely one which gathers much of a following.

Consumer electronics makers, Internet retailers, Publishers....are all looking at the eBook with renewed interest. If it's just downloading an electronic book to a PDA, only better I doubt we'll see any excitement in take up. We need some innovation. We need a can-do attitude in redefining reading for the digital generation. The market needs to experiment, take risks, fail fail fail and succeed. The market needs to innovate.

Sound startup-ish? I can almost guarantee that there are tens of startup groups working on "it" with the attitude that they can, they must do "it." What will happen is anyone's guess as vendors always overestimate consumer take up (even with 'conservative' estimates), and consumers always overestimate what they lose by changing behaviour.

It's going to be a long haul; maybe a marathon in the end, but at least right now with Sony, Amazon & others driving to launch their first solutions, it certainly looks like a sprint. What innovation will they, or others, bring to the market?

It should be interesting...