Understanding what you do

I came across this most thought-proving post by Seb Paquet on Google Plus, that looks at how new ideas and especially new business models can be understood. Seb notes that:

  • There is a small group of people who understand why you are doing it;
  • A larger group of people who get how you are doing it;
  • An even larger group of people who get what you are doing; and finally
  • The largest group of people who don’t get it at all.

Phil Jones adds this insight in the comments:

  • Inner circle : comrades (or arch enemies)
  • 2nd circle : potential collaborators (dependent on deals you can make) (or potential competitors)
  • 3rd circle : supporters (or opponents)
  • outer rim: passive obstacles

What could this mean for a startup or new business?

Accept that most people do not understand why you are doing this in the first place and some of those who do will be working at cross purposes to subvert you. Try to turn potential competitors into collaborators. Be active in professional networks with your supporters and be co-operative in spirit, for these people may help to convert your opponents. Finally, ignore the passive obstacles and find ways to route around them.

Seb is already working on version .2 of this, so stay tuned on G+.

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