Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
February 13, 2010 6:44 PM

What The World Needs Now

It does seem like everywhere you go and everywhere you turn, people have something (usually bad) to say about how everything is turning out in the world.

For the majority of people, even trying to fix some of these issues - and they can be local, national or global - just seems way too daunting. But, let's say you could take the time to really think, meditate and postulate about what we can do - right now - to make things better? Let's look at this from a business perspective: what if we could forget the past and not worry about the future? What would you do if you could change things right now?

What the world needs now...

  • Mindshift. If you ever had the chance to take a look at what's being done in Behavioural Economics, you really should. A great primer on this is Dan Ariely's best-selling business book, Predictably Irrational. To change our present we are going to need a slight mindshift. We'll need to look at things differently. For inspiration, think about how the guys who developed Digg were looking for a completely new way to engage with media and the news.
  • Discovery. "Nothing ventured. Nothing gained." Doing things the way they have always been done will lead you to one result: the same results you've always had. That isn't necessarily true. If you don't go out to the fringes, if you don't experiment and if you don't become the "tip of the spear" for your industry or cause, then you may actually start loosing ground (and revenue) from where you were last year. Imagine becoming the great discoverer for your business (or industry)?
  • Action. Thinking, talking, Blogging, Tweeting is all fine and dandy, but at a certain point it's going to have to be about action. You're going to have to push yourself to actually do the things most either talk about or simply arm-chair quarterback. When it comes to Digital Marketing, there is a low percentage of those actually taking action and doing things versus those who are talking about it and criticizing it.
  • Reason. Within this bold new journey, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement, romance and passion, but don't forget the cold, hard facts. If we've learned anything when it comes to the digital channels, we know our web analytics provides countless opportunities to be better at what we do. The data doesn't lie. Use reason whenever making the really difficult decisions.
  • Provocation. We only really discover something new when we're being provocative. Both in our thinking and how we publish those thoughts. Look at what Arianna Huffington did with the Huffington Post. It was (and still is) a provocative move - in both the language used within the community and the platform on which it resides. Huffington Post is - in all of its charms - a provocation to the traditional print media and press.
  • Invention and Imagination. Probably one of the toughest things for any business to do is to rethink how their business is done, and what that could look like in the future. There has to be a reason why new companies with inventive new ideas are the ones who constantly usurp the established 800-pound gorilla. Companies - from Digital Marketing to the automotive sector - really need a plan of invention to go along with their five-year strategy plan.
  • Play. We often forget to have fun while doing this. We often think that "play" exists only as a break from "work". Let's agree that even saying, "there's work and then there's play" is probably not the best way to figure out how to fix the current situation and push things further. Play is direly missing from work, because too many people are doing way too many jobs that they hate. This is not a battle cry to up and quit your day job. This is a battle cry to inject play (and what it truly means) into everything you do, so that the net result allows your playfulness and excitement to ignite your co-workers and clients.
  • Simplicity. There is nothing more to add. Things work best when they are simple for the consumer. People often ask me why Twitter or Facebook are so popular? The answer is simple: it's because they are simple. Keep it simple.

What does your world need right now?

(I spent most of this week attending the TED conference in Long Beach, California. The infamous TED Talks that take place during the day are broken down into themes. The overall theme of TED 2010 was, "What the world needs now." Above are some the sub-themes. The words inspired me, so I went on the creative journey above to see how it applies to our world of Digital Marketing, Social Media, New Media and Business moving forward).

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by mr. tunes
    Mitch Joel

    i guess what it boils down to is the world needs less chatter and more output. but we can't have more valuable content without the discussions that go along with it.

    personally i think everything is fine. if you are the type who creates things, then keep creating. everyone else can keep lurking on facebook.

    Reply
  • Posted by Martin Hathaway
    Mitch Joel

    Thank you for an inspiring post. It serves as a great call to action for everyone, from entrepreneurs to industrial behemoths. This post also made me think of the following quote...

    "Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow." - William Pollard

    Reply
  • Posted by Jeff Ogden
    Mitch Joel

    Great post, Mitch. I agree with you that we need change in the world and really need to focus on the things that truly matter, like your great list in your blog article. I also invite you to visit my blog at http://www.fearlesscompetitor.com and see my guest post at http://www.mikevolpe.com.

    Jeff Ogden, President
    Find New Customers "Lead Generation Made Simple"
    http://www.findnewcustomers.net

    Reply
  • Posted by Ron De Giusti
    Mitch Joel

    The world needs more events like TED.
    The world needs more wealthy individuals like Bill Gates tackling world issues.
    The world needs more people stepping in and participating in life, insteading of being voyeurs ... and, perhaps, that means more people should blog and comment on blogs ;-)

    Reply
  • Posted by Ric Dragon
    Mitch Joel

    Line of thought is great; but on one issue at least I'd play the devil's advocate:

    "There has to be a reason why new companies with inventive new ideas are the ones who constantly usurp the established 800-pound gorilla."

    I have a feeling there is a natural cycle of organization growth, along with economic cycles - both lending themselves to the willingness of individuals to work long hours with little pay - that helps small organizations trump larger. Social media is such a component - secret weapon that entrepreneurs can leverage in a way that larger organizations can not.

    On the other hand, small organizations often lack some of the systems and processes that large organizations have.

    The challenge for large organizations, is to build in the agility inherent in small companies... like what Google has been doing with its 20% rule (20% of time is to be spent on special projects). Of course, thats simpler when a company is generating excess capital.

    Reply
  • Posted by Samuel Lavoie
    Mitch Joel

    Good food for thoughts Mitch, the TED talks must have been an amazing journey. Congrats! :-)

    Reply
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