Every now and then, I find Tom Peter’s Dispatches from the new World of work a lot of fun, including his earlier posts on bad advertising . His blog page logo states “Lead the customer” which actually links very well into Craig’s latest post on “The Customer Is Not Always Right” (great post Craig).
But his 100 ways to help you succeed are quite interesting to read. #44 states :
“Are you … Hip? If not, what … EXACTLY … do you plan to do about it?”
which created a number of comments about how hip wasn’t really a good success strategy at all. Here’s where I think the readers were wrong (as posted into his comments as well)
Apple is a “hip” company. Why? Because they CONSTANTLY redefine themselves.
You’re hip if you are able to change (and change successfully) to the point where people or customers look to you for that fresh state that says ‘that’s where we want to be’.
Yes, what constitutes “hip” changes regularly – so therefore, as a company, do you embrace change and provide that leadership into what is becoming popular (before it does so) or do you follow the trend?
The “hip” people typically drop a trend once it gets too popular – that is , they go find ANOTHER market to conquer.
That’s not to say that you should just drop what you’re working on for the sake of being “hip”. But you need to be able to turn on a dime if what you’re doing doesn’t make sense or isn’t going to change what you want to do. You need to be able to convince people that you’re doing is really going to “Change the world” which is exactly what “hip” people can do – inspire change.