Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Brand Yourself

History of Innovation: “Timing is everything”?

History research demonstrates that plenty of valid and sensible innovations never stuck or were adopted by societies. Why?

For example, the printing press could not make much sense in the 16th century Europe if industrial production of current papers were not made available. What was the use of using printing press on archaic parchments and papyrus…?

The influential book “In search of excellence” by Tom Peters was researched in the 70’s but published in 1982, in the right timing for its concepts to take off:  The US was facing around 20% interest rates, 15% inflation, and 11% unemployment (worse than today conditions) and then Donald Reagan was elected President after Jimmy Carter.

“In search of excellence” was mostly promoting the concept of “Brand Yourself”, or everyone must be a brand. The “faceless employee or Badge #129” was being outsourced either to lower cost locations such as China or India, or to software algorithms.

The quality logic is that you have to pay attention to your workforce, the culture for tending to details if you are serious about competing with Japanese quality products…

Currently, KIA cars or Subaru before it are very high in quality: They can run 30,000 miles without ever having to go into a shop.

Timing is everything“.

For example, the US billionaires in the 19th century were mostly born around 1835. They generated their wealth in the railroad, telegraph communication, postal facilities (containers, bill of lading…) oil production, refineries, distribution, media, publishing…Most of the current billionaires are inheritances of the wealth and constitute the “elite class” of 1% richest…

Another example is the top innovators in computer and internet business: They were born around 1955 and enjoyed the facilities of timely innovations and facilities to mark 10,000 hours of practice sessions.

More details

Malcolm Gladwell said in the interview: “When we drive a Nissan Leaf or a Chevy Volt, we are sending this powerful message “These are my values. This is the kind of world I want.”

The declarative value of consumer choices, and the public statement made by consumers in their brand choices, is an enormously powerful tool that has consequences on the economy, the community we live in, the agricultural systems…”

If you think long and hard on a choice, it makes perfect sense of what message you are sending.

There is a paradox. You cannot just focus on “your own brand” to be successful: You badly need the horizontal network of peers and satisfied clients, the extended family of professionals as producers and consumers of quality services.

Note 1:  This post was inspired by Debbie Millman ”Brand thinking and other Noble Pursuits”. This book is a collection of 22 interviews with known brand designers and entrepreneurs such as: Wally Olins, Grant McCraken, Phil Duncan, Dori Tunstall, Brian Collins, Virginia Postrel, Bruce Duckworth, David Butler, Stanley Hainsworth, Cheryl Swanson, Joe Duggy, Margaret Youngblood, Seth Godin, Dan Formosa, Bill Moggridge, Sean Adams, Daniel Pink, DeeDee Gordon, Karim Rashid, Alex Bogusky, Tom Peters, Malcolm Gladwell

Note 2: Debbie is president of design division at Sterling Brands and president of the AIGA design association




June 2023

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