I love my iPad. It is one of the greatest devices I’ve ever owned and an excellent tool for content creation. I’ve used it to create the eBook I’m currently giving away and to work on other projects that I care about. It is my main video editing platform. In short, it is an amazing portable tool for anyone planning to work remotely.
When Apple released the iPad, it was widely mocked by many people. From it’s name (sounds like a feminine hygiene product!), lack of keyboard (we need buttons we can press!), only being able to download “apps” from Apple’s iTunes store (too restrictive, not enough apps!), those complaints sound silly now. Released in April 2010, Apple has now gone on to sell over 85 million iPads, making it the best selling tablet (and of course you knew copycats would jump right in).
Why is this relevant to you and me? It goes to show you that bold ideas matter. Had Apple stuck to making the same devices everyone was making, it wouldn’t be the company it is today (the most valuable in the world, by the way). It’s not enough to be “just another option”. The market is too crowded, too noisy for you to stand out doing the same thing everyone else is doing.
A big idea is bold. You need to go beyond what everyone else is doing. As Michael Hyatt says, you need to “WOW!” people when they come in contact with your product or service or your blog.
Well, how do you do that?
#1. Establish a Baseline of Expectations
Take pen and paper and jot down the following: What exactly would you expect to find on your site if you were coming in as a visitor? What are your minimal expectations? If you can’t meet them, what will you do to at the very least start at that level?
If you haven’t opened up your business yet, look at the websites in your same market. Are you finding what you expected, or are they going above? Once you have a baseline of expectations, it’s time to turn it up to 11.
When the iPhone was introduced, other companies predicted it would flop. “The market is too crowded! We’ve done everything we can with the phone!“, they said. And it was true. The iPhone would’ve flopped had Apple done the same thing everyone was doing.
But they didn’t.
They knew what cellphones in the market looked like. They knew the baseline expectations people had of them. Apple re-thought what a cellphone should deliver in terms of a customer experience. Do you know the baseline expectations for your business?
#2 . Think Outside the Box
You don’t have to what everyone else is doing. At least not all the time.
Let your mind be free.
If you did not have any limitations, such as money or technical know-how, what would you do differently to go above baseline expectations and stand out?
Question the impossible.
We often limit ourselves to what we “think” we can do, never quite pushing ourselves to go beyond what’s “necessary.” Whether it’s fear or because we’ve never considered the alternatives, we tend to follow the herd. Stop.
Start thinking about what would put you over the top. What would make you be/do what other’s haven’t attempted yet? Your mind is an amazing thing. Just pose the question to it and your subconscious will start working on it. Be ready for when the idea comes to you.
In this 1983 “lost tape”, Jobs was already talking about building a device that you could “put in a book”, that anyone could use to pick up e-mail wirelessly from anywhere. His mind was already thinking of a way to sell software (apps) that you could buy without needing to go to the store to pick up a software box. Jobs thought of all this when the technology still didn’t exist to make his dream a reality. But it wouldn’t have happened anyway, even if the technology existed, unless he envisioned it first.
What’s big idea would you develop if you knew you had no limits?
#3. Set Your Plan in Motion
All the thinking in the world won’t get you from point A to point B. What actually gets you will get you going are your actions. What will you do with the ideas that come to you?
All it takes is one small action to get the ball rolling. Put one foot in front of the other and execute. Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.
Jobs had the idea for an iPad back in 1983 and that’s all it would’ve remained, an idea, had he not put the plan into action. Ideas are just that, ideas, unless you put in place a plan to implement them.
To get going, simply jot your ideas down on paper. Pluck them from the land of thoughts and bring them to the physical world. Just writing your idea down moves it to the physical realm. From there, think about what’s the first baby step you’d have to take towards moving into the direction of your dreams.
The rest is just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, as success in one step, no matter how small, brings confidence into the next step you take.
What’s your big idea to change the world?