Okay, here we are once again, back to the Guy Kawasaki speech at the not-so-recent Inc. 500/5000 conference I attended at the beginning of October. Guy offered an informative session about cultivating and maintaining “enchantment” in your customers or clients. I am (and have been for several months) in the middle of summarizing those points and discussing how they are applicable for us at Outskirts Press so perhaps they can also help you apply the information to your own entrepreneurial efforts (starting a business, running a company or yes, even marketing a published book). And, in the meantime, you should get Guy’s book, “Enchantment” for the total skinny.
Step 6 is to endure.
Easier said than done, right? If starting a successful company is difficult, keeping one from going out of business is next to impossible. Being an “Apple Guy” (pun intended again), Guy refers to Apple, Inc. as a perfect example of this step. Apple launched as a computer company at the dawn of the personal computer age and for a long time struggled to find its “place.” Even while Bill Gates and Microsoft were “borrowing” the GUI interface of the Mac for their own Windows operating system, Apple was trying to compete against Windows in terms of providing office applications like spreadsheets, word processing, and databases. Unfortunately for Apple, Apple computers simply didn’t perform those tasks as well as Dos/Windows based systems.
Then along came desktop publishing, and Apple found its first niche. Guy said during the conference that if it hadn’t been for “desktop publishing” Apple would have gone out of business decades ago. Wow! That’s an amazing thing to think about when one considers the valuation of Apple today — a 2-to-1 favorite to, perhaps one day, be the first company with a trillion dollar valuation. Yes, you could say Apple has endured.
So even if your business or book isn’t a blockbuster right out of the gate, persevere. Keep at it. Your “aha moment” (or in Apple’s case, their “ipod moment”) could be just around the bend.
Outskirts Press is enduring, and yes, even thriving. We recently landed on the Inc. 500/5000 list for the 4th consecutive year and I spend a good portion of my time responding to investment companies and brokers who want to give us money that we don’t need. All this in a tricky, passionate competitive environment where some of our competitors offer for free what we charge money for. How do we do it? The easy explanation is that some people drink tap water and some drink Perrier. People are willing to pay for something that is better if they are informed of the advantages, particularly when it comes to what they put in their bodies, or how they publish the manuscripts they have spent a year or more writing. That’s a long time and a lot of hard work to just simply “throw up onto the Internet” and hope it sticks. Most people realize their chances for success are greatly improved with professional help.
The more complicated explanation for how we do it has been covered over the course of this “Guy Kawasaki” series of posts about high-quality, customer service, and yes, enchantment.
Step 7 to follow…