“Can’t put you in a box, Jared” they said. Damn skippy. I hope they never can. More than that, I’m obsessed about never doing the same discourtesy to anyone/any client I work with. Come to think of it, I have always marched to the beat of my own drum, and never really belonged to any particular “group” at school, university or at work.
I am passionate about being an entrepreneur. About doing it differently. About going on my own and sticking it to the man. I worked for 15 years in corporate. Being told what to do, and then how to do it, taught me a lot. But it also stifled my creativity, and deflated the entire service experience for our clients. After learning what I needed to, I took the leap.
Goliaths in training
One of the key lessons I learned from being a cog in the machine, driving the juggernaut of corporate was as follows: Everything has its rightful place in its “customized” box. Every corporate culture that I have been exposed to is so well defined, so “outlined” that it boxes you no matter what. And that has far reaching implications: from how you deal with suppliers and fellow employees, down to individual client engagement. How you treat clients, and how they experience your services or corporate culture, becomes predefined and broadly impersonal – it will nearly always breed an “us vs. them” mentality.
Another thing I learned was that no matter how much value you try to add, it will always be limited by inherent structure and will never truly “Velcro” with the client’s business objectives. This dilutes the overall value proposition to such an extent that the organisation starts to accept & even punt mediocrity as opposed to brilliance, as that is how it is geared at an institutional level.
Elect for a local – David needs your vote!
So enter the David’s: The nimble, agile, spritely delinquents who cannot seem to stand still long enough to be indoctrinated with a tepid manifesto. The ones who seek difference. The ones who like to debate, challenge, refine, and really add value – The ones who listen to their clients, and take advice on how to build a relevant solution for them. The entrepreneurs.
It is we who will change the world – We who will take on the larger corporate Goliaths and defeat them because it is our right. A right borne from an absolute focus on survival, and out of commitment to excellence. We are lean and mean, and fighting fit. We ask questions and listen to the answers. We are genuinely interested in the story of our clients and curiously look at solving their unique problems with our solutions, because that is how we started -… by solving our own.
Size does matter
In this day and age, smaller is better. The market needs players that can tap dance and figure skate patterns around the competition. Smaller organisations that have a hunger for greatness, and a thirst for value-creation. The guy that is unafraid to take risks and meet the clients head-on with real solutions that are not cookie-cut, but that have an entirely unique recipe from the outset. Customise or die trying.
We have a philosophy at 10dot: Believe in bespoke in everything you do. Craft even if it kills you. Rather go down the winding road of trying everything to tailor something of value. The lessons you learn along the way almost always open new opportunities. And if not, you have just gained a new perspective and learned something new. Win-win.
Give David a chance
David who will think harder, deliver more, consider 50 alternatives and question everything he did. Because he’s not guaranteed of anything except his own value. He is truly committed to making a difference.
If you have your own company or are a decision maker in your corporate, I urge you to do business with the entrepreneurs, the smaller guys who really care about your problem and in solving it. Stop settling for diluted value propositions and mediocrity, and help grow the economy one local vote at a time.