410.235.7070 Join Our E-Letter
businessGPS Taking You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Go.

Getting hit in the face for 32 years

Getting hit in the face for 32 years

July 26, 2012

For more than three decades hockey goalies didn't wear masks because they weren't considered tough enough if they did.

Sometimes you have to wonder, 'What were they thinking?'

Why did it take more than 30 years of getting hit in the face for hockey goalies to finally put on a mask? Why do the Japanese dominate the watch market and not the Swiss? And why did it take so long to add wheels to luggage?

I'll give you the answers and why the answers can dramatically affect your business - Plus, I'll also tell you how to get a complimentary Brand Launcher coaching session.

You may think I'm kidding that it took so long for hockey goalies to put on masks, but it's true.

It took them 32 years of suffering broken noses, teeth and jaws before the first goalie wore it full-time. The first mask was similar to a fencing mask worn in 1927 but it wasn't until 1959 that a goaltender wore a mask in every game. And that was only because the goalie, who got hit in the face and had to receive stitches during a game, refused to come back on the ice until his coach allowed him to wear a mask. Until then, goalies who wore masks weren't considered very tough. What were they thinking?

Sometimes we're slow to adapt, but when we do watch out! Everything changes.

Swiss watch makers are well known for creating and designing masterful mechanical watches. But the watchmakers wanted nothing to do with electronic watches using Quartz technology that allowed Japanese companies such as Seiko to dominate the market. What were they thinking?

This is my favorite: We were able to put a man on the moon, but it wasn't until years later that we figured out how to put wheels on luggage.

Flying over Israel recently I saw images just like this one of verdant pastures next to ardent land. Thankfully, engineers developed innovative irrigation systems.

As a race we may be slow to adapt, but once we do, look out! In every case, new technology or a breakthrough came along that suddenly made what was once considered impractical practical.

As I was flying into Israel a few weeks ago, I was amazed to look down from the plane and see miles and miles of dirt and rock and then, seemingly out of nowhere, lush, green expanses of grass and crops - all made possible by drip technology and desalination plants. Water is not taken lightly here. It's hot in the mountains and we're constantly making sure the kids have water bottles with them. And we're not taking 15 minute showers like we did back home.

One flush or two?

To help conserve its scarce water supply, many Israel toilets use the one-flush, two-flush system. Necessity truly is the mother of invention.

Do you know what this is? It's a toilet that has two size flushes, one of for #1 and one for #2. Why? Because precious water is so scarce. This water saving device reduces consumption by up to 67% in most homes.

Israeli engineers also developed innovative irrigation systems. Surrounded by neighbors who threaten to cut off Israel's water supply, the country had to develop the technology to survive. It's really true: 'Necessity is the mother of invention.'

What does all this mean to you? Most likely, there's something happening right now in your market or industry that will suddenly change your business. I'll show you how to figure out where you fit in so you can take advantage of the dramatic opportunities - and not get left behind.

It doesn't matter what industry you're in, but wherever you look, things have been done the same way for years. Then, suddenly a trigger occurs. It may be a new technology, new software, or a new idea that transforms the business. It could be plastic molding for hockey masks. Quartz oscillators in watches. Or a patent on luggage wheels. Suddenly, everything changes.

The Hype Cycle -- where do you fit in?

Gartner Inc.'s Hype Cycle shows just how dramatically interests change as breakthroughs occur. Read on to see how to manage your products or services through the cycle.

It's called the Hype Cycle. Gartner, Inc. a technology research and advisory firm, developed the model to graphically represent the stages of adoption that occur during a dramatic breakthrough. Here's how to master it so you can take advantage of the hype that may be going on right now, so you don't blind-sided with shots to the face! There are five phases:

1. 'Trigger' - This is when a breakthrough occurs in which there's a sudden explosion of interest and press coverage talking about the next best thing. Examples may include: driverless cars, in-home solar panels and UPC code scanners on smart phones.
2. 'Peak of Inflated Expectations' - The frenzy of publicity generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. 3-D TV, 3-D Printers, mobile robots and cloud computing are all good examples of inflated buzz about new products.
3. 'Trough of Disillusionment' - The breakthrough fails to meet expectations and quickly becomes unfashionable. Fewer people talk about in this stage. Examples: microblogging, QR codes, paperless offices and SPAM control.
4. 'Slope of Enlightenment' - Although there's less publicity about the innovation, some businesses understand the benefits and continue to promote it. Examples: self-checkout at grocery stores, cork flooring, online video and RFID.
5. 'Plateau of Productivity' - In the final stage, the technology is widely demonstrated and accepted. The technology is much more stable and begins to finally live up to realistic expectations. Examples: Dual Flush toilets, moisture-wicking shirts, keyless entry into cars and homes, cork flooring, Tablet PCs, location-aware applications.

The question for you is: where is your product or service in the Hype Cycle? And just as importantly: how will you manage your product or service as it moves through the cycle?

Remember, everything always starts with 'Who?' Who are your Hungry Fish in each stage? Then you can design your message to meet the needs of the 'Who' as you move through the Hype Cycle. Here is a matrix to help you...

It doesn't matter what market you're in, the same formula applies. In fact, we've developed a process called the Hype Opportunity Launcher to help our clients manage the process as they move from one phase to the next. First, we analyze where your product or service falls in the Hype Cycle. Then we develop a strategy to help you leverage the opportunities in each stage of the of the Hype Cycle.

For a complimentary Hype Opportunity Launcher Coaching Session, GO HERE to register right now. This offer is only available to the first 10 companies that register by August 1.

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,


Jon Goldman, President