We are going to step away from techno-coolness for just a second and dive into the wide world of ideas...
Here's an interesting thought... most of the technology that powers the modern and innovative sites on the internet are at least 10 years old. Ajax, that new thing everyone's been using the last 3 years is about that old. DHTML, the set of technologies that turns static text and images into a moving and dynamic interface is even older. The reason that these technologies have taken 7-10 years to mature isn't that they are that hard to use; it's because it's taken that long for designers and developers to realize their potential.
It comes down to ideas. Someone took the time to say, "Wouldn't this be great!" They stopped long enough to let ideas flow. They didn't ask the question, "How has this been done before?" They asked, "How can this be done better?"
I'm sure that somewhere out there in the blogosphere someone is thinking, "That's nice, but the economy is bad! I don't have time to sit around and ruminate, I need to keep my business afloat!" That's a valid point. You've gotta do what you've gotta do. However, the companies that are making money hand over fist today are NOT the ones sitting and wondering how to keep their head above water or sticking to the status quo. Success is found by companies that have taken the time to think about the situation.
Take Apple for example: A few years ago they were trying to sell expensive computers in a market that was focused on reducing the cost of PC's in order to gain market share. They didn't just jump on the band wagon, they stopped and thought. Out of that thought process came great successes like the iMac, OS X, the iPod and the iPhone. They went from living on the fringes of a Microsoft based PC market to creating and/or leading several completely new markets.
It's all because they were willing to stop and think.
So here is a question for the reader. Is your market saturated? Do you feel that your products and brand are lost in the mix? If so (or even if not) it's time to ask some questions and then answer them honestly, setting your ego aside:
- How can I tweak my product or service so that marketing that product comes naturally?
- What emotion is evoked by the product I'm selling (a sense of security, a feeling of exhilaration, relaxation, etc.) and how can I weave that into every aspect of the product or service?
- How can I break the status quo with positive change?
- What would I do if there were unlimited resources and time? How much of that can you do with the resources and time you have now?