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There’s a kid on my block that builds his own gadgets in his garage. People pitch him crazy inventions all the time and the deal is always the same. “My idea, you build it, we’ll split the profits.”

Wisely, he always says the same thing. “No thanks. Ideas are free.” Then he’ll go back to 3D printing a robot or something.

Hard truth: Ideas, products are irrelevant when they are invisible.

It’s the reason venture capitalists like Gordon Miller have commented about how often he gets pitched by people absolutely convinced they have million dollar ideas, but they have no plan for how to implement or put it out there.

An idea is only actually valuable when there’s a viable method for executing on it. Without that strategy and team to act on that strategy, the idea is simply a nice thought.

Developing a product can be exciting.

Bringing that product to market is scary, and requires a lot of vulnerability.

This is why any time we begin work with a new client we know we need to bring our own vulnerability to the table even before we dive into strategy.

Vulnerability = honesty, and that is what fans will engage with far more deeply than cool gizmos and updated features. If we’re not willing to show up like that for our audience, how will they know who they’re doing business with?

In fact, we’ve often found that they very place where a business is most vulnerable tends to be where they best connect with their audience.

Our role for our own clients is often just as much about helping them build the confidence to market this way as it is about the strategy for that message.