Tom and Tracy discuss the need for a revolutionary or evolutionary business plan based on the book, Originals. What you need to do to prep the wider audience for your new business plan and assess if it’s a hot topic versus really revolutionary.
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Do I Need a Revolutionary Business Plan?
Talking about whether or not we need a revolutionary or an evolutionary business plan. In my mind, if you are going to go into business, you don’t want to be, “Me too.” Why do you not want a revolutionary business plan?
Here is my thought on it,this goes back to a book I read recently which is incredible called The Originals. It is about the idea of those really truly innovative ideas. Those truly innovative companies and how do they do it. The reality is that they don’t go in there with a revolutionary business plan. They baby step people into it. People can’t accept that revolutionary all at once. It takes a lot of vision from too many people to do it. Unless you are in a hot topic area already, so that means that it actually is not that revolutionary. Saying 3D printing, 3D printing in itself is not revolutionary. We have been working on 3D printing since the 80’s. It is not completely new to everyone. But it is hot.
It is a hot topic for a lot of areas. But as we talked with Steve Heller, from the Motley Fool, it is also mature enough that people have a frame of reference for it from an investment stand point. The people who are looking at your business plan have a frame of reference, consumers may not. Here is the thing, revolutionary business plan means that everything is going to change, everything about it. You are going to do something completely different. You need to really convince consumers to do something completely different from what they have been doing.
All of that doesn’t always happen overnight and it certainly doesn’t happen without a tremendous amount of influx of cash. This is where I want people to start thinking people about the idea that you do need an evolutionary plan for your business plan with a revolutionary goal. I don’t even want to get up in the morning if I am working on business and I don’t have some revolutionary plans, something different. I guess it is just me, but you want to be unique.
Think about it, it is like everything is staged anyway in terms of financing and funding. That is the way everything works. You need to give them something they can sink their teeth into. It is in the topic they are interested in. You don’t want them to give the pie in the sky, it might confuse them. You might want to baby step them into investing. Get them along to the next stage. Once they are in with you and they are along for the ride, they get more excited about it. They are in on the way. It is a lean business model, which is not that revolutionary at all.That has been around quite some time, but a lean business model in terms of building it that way as well.
Most people cannot accept true innovation. They just can’t. It is too much for the brain to handle. It is too out there, they can’t wrap their mind around, and if they can’t wrap their mind around it, they say no. It is really the problem right now that we see. Thinking back about how wonderful our episode about Lowes. That is our interview this week, this Thursday. Don’t miss it because we got three guests on at three different times from three different businesses.
Lowes is doing something that is revolutionary in the innovation that they are exploring and how they are exploring it. They are testing one concept at a time. That is what I am talking about here, is that your business plan should have an evolution to it as well, to build up both acceptance of your revolutionary idea, but also build up proof towards that idea as well. You are testing and proving along the way as well.
It’s always tough when you don’t have a solid business model to follow. That is the thing, is that when you can’t follow a business model, more proof is required of you. That means that you got to find some things that can be evolutionary, that can fit business models that are okay today, and you can really test it out and go forward with that. That is where we talk about market proof. I can’t tell you how many times I give this talk, it is probably my most popular talk: prove it first. In the prove it first model, you are testing not just your product. You are not just testing your innovation. You are testing your access to your market. “Can I reach them? Will they listen to me?” This is what we are doing here on the podcast whether you realize it or not. We are testing out whether or not you are interested in what we have to talk about. You guys have been responding that is why we are at more than 318 episodes.
That is what we are doing here. This is a part of a very long revolutionary business plan but it is evolutionary stage 1. In evolutionary stage 1, we are testing out at market reach, our discussion, our reach, our topics, we are testing out our things that we are doing out here and that is helping get us where to we want to go. It is also helping get people comfortable with us. That means giving us the know-like-trust factor with investors. It is getting us known in the market place. These are all things that everyone needs to be thinking about in terms of how they are going to get there with their own revolutionary business plan.
This is reminding me now with what you have said about a recent email I got from Eduardo Martini who is one of our earliest and longest time listeners. Which, by the way: Congratulations Eduardo, the Brazilians won football/soccer! Congratulations. You must be so excited. He was writing in about a past episode where we said just do it, 3D Printing Experience was the title. He listened to it and said that you guys can offer products in the 3D printing world because you have a different perspective and you are experienced in product development.
He is going on and telling me about some different possibilities like we could go do webinars, create a mastermind group, create an online course or a membership site, and then he is serving up some topics he’d like to hear about. That is all valid stuff that we could do. But we are really interested at some point here in making some other significant business in the 3D printing world here in the industry. We are dealing with exactly the type of thing you are talking about in the balance between.
I talked a little bit about last week on the Monday episode of dipping your toe in the water or jumping in feet first, these are all similar related sort of topics about you want to be on the leading edge, but not on the bleeding edge. There is a reason, that is really one of the things that they highlight in the book. He highlights a great research book with a lot of data to back up his premises. Saying that basically first to markets fail almost every time. It is the followers who make it. Just like the VHS to the Beta, is an old example, if you remember that from the early 80’s or late 70’s.
Even thinking like the Apple Newton to the Palm Pilot, or the Palm Pilot to the modern smartphone. It is a cascade of it. You look at that and you say, “Why that is the case? They are the originators. They are the innovators. We should be rewarding them.” Absolutely you should be rewarding those with the revolutionary business plan. The problem is most likely they burned through so much cash convincing people that this innovation was of value to them, that they didn’t have the wherewithal to keep going. They didn’t have the wherewithal to do the things necessary to build around business and someone swoops in underneath them and does that, and learns from the mistakes they are making. That is what happens when you are revolutionary; you are making mistakes because that is the only way. No one has done it before. It is bound to have mistakes. No one goes through that perfectly.
The market doesn’t always adopt the first ones that have a revolutionary business plan. Sometimes, they adopt more of a, “Me Too” who is drafting off all the market exposure and all the hard work that the originator did. That is where you talk about why an evolutionary business plan is so essential because it also constricts your cash. It is another thing that you should do. You should constrict your spending so that you are really disciplined about your spending. You are forced to prove it before you get your next level of spending. It is really actually critically important in a revolutionary business model, because otherwise you can go down a road that is a complete dead end.
Now I am thinking about this series that we have been watching on demand all summer long. In the summer time, we don’t watch a lot of TV, but in the summer time, there is nothing on and we usually pick a series and blow through it on demand, like all summer long. This summer, it has been Silicon Valley, which is an HBO show. Every time I watch it, I get ojina, as my Nan puts it. It is like giving you an angina. That is freaking you out like it is like, “Oh my gosh! That is so real, I feel like my heart is palpitating.” While it is a comedy show, there is a lot of truth and lessons in what is going on.
If you have the ability to download that and you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend it. There are only 3 seasons and you can burn through it in a couple of weeks if you want to in your late evenings. This is where a company has a truly revolutionary technology or product that they can make a product out of it. All the garbage that they deal with and all the issues of capital raising and burning through that capital and all of the mistakes that they made and all of the things that blows up. Granted, it’s entertainment and its extreme, but I have heard from so many people in Silicon Valley that it is a little too close to home. They have trouble watching it. I can say the same thing, I have been sitting back on the sidelines in a writing lot of Inc. articles I have been doing on the crowd funding side of everything. It is giving me the same thing. It made me go why would anyone do this to themselves?
That is really where I step back and says you know; sometimes it is just not time for you to be doing those things. When you are in a revolutionary business plan there is so much that can go wrong and it is probably not the right time to be going in there and talking about it like it is a revolutionary. Make sure you have your enlisted people who understand your vision and your long term goal. They are your core team, but you don’t always enlist everybody that way.
It doesn’t mean you don’t want a unique value proposition, if you have something patentable or something unique, some secret sauce if you will, you want something that is going to set you apart, differentiate you, but maybe it is not the place. to not be revolutionary may be your business plan. Even thinking about it from a prototyping situation or from a long term, if you got to develop something, can you imagine what would happen if you walked into a factory and say, “Hey I need you to make this thing; we don’t know if there is a market for it. I need your help because I can’t make it myself. The tech is so revolutionary.” You need to enlist somebody’s help in it.
They are going to look at you like you are insane. But if you come into them and say, “Hey, I need to make this one thing different. Can you help me make this step?” You are more likely to get there. They would then ask you, “What this is about? What are you doing that you got that far? “Now you have enlisted a partner, they are ready to come to the next step with you. There are so many subjects we can go. We can end up down a big rabbit hole. That is a good place to leave it for today.
If you have any thoughts on a revolutionary business plan or evolutionary business plan, we’d love to hear them. Reach out in the comments or anywhere on social media @HazzDesign or @3DStartPoint. Special thanks again to Eduardo Martini for your email and continued communication with us, we really appreciate it. Keep it coming. Let Eduardo be a model for those of you who want to engage in communication with us, please reach out!
- The Originals
- Diving Into Your 3D Print Business Feet First
- Just Do It: 3D Print Experience
- How Startups Really Get Funded
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