It was the mid 70′s… a gawky teen standing in front of the mirror being critical of himself for the hundredth time. His nose was too big, his ears were weird, his hair didn’t lay just right. And his eyes! they were just… wait a minute… his eyes… they were… kind of… cool. Yes they were different, but that difference was kind of cool.
Fast forward a few years. That teen is a young adult just getting out of the military. The color of his eyes no longer fascinate him, but what his eyes see does fascinate him. The future lays in front of him… and it thrills him. This new vision propels him through a computer science bachelor’s degree in two and a half years. It drives him to build a mini real estate empire. Today, I’m even more fascinated with my vision of the future.
What vision do your eyes see? Do you see a future where you are making a difference in the world? What is your passion? Does it stand out? To make a difference, your vision needs to grow legs… to be talked about. Seth Godin talks about sliced bread. Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Davenport, Iowa, invented the machine that creates sliced bread in 1912.
No one bought sliced bread until 1930, when Wonder Bread’s marketing of sliced bread helped people see the value. The vision was great, but no one knew about it.
As a side note, during WWII, the government banned sliced bread for a short while, and the outcry was massive! Here’s an excerpt from a letter appearing in the New York Times:
“I should like to let you know how important sliced bread is to the morale and saneness of a household. My husband and four children are all in a rush during and after breakfast. Without ready-sliced bread I must do the slicing for toast—two pieces for each one—that’s ten. For their lunches I must cut by hand at least twenty slices, for two sandwiches apiece. Afterward I make my own toast. Twenty-two slices of bread to be cut in a hurry!”
Now there is a committed customer! She wrote to the New York Times begging that the ban on sliced bread be lifted.
How can we spread our ideas now? How can we compete in a world full of glitzy ads backed by millions of dollars? Why does America like reality shows? I think it is because America is tired of polished marketing messages… they crave reality (even if, and maybe because it is not so professional) the connection to real people matters more than the professionally created fluff.
This is great news for normal people that have great visions for the future. Openness and trust are more important than polish and perfection. Caring matters more than ever. People can sense who you are. Your sincerity will show… even if the glitz does not. People will know you better than they have ever been able to know you before… and that is a good thing. They will trust you because you are real, and because you want to help them with your great vision for the future.