If there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how are our brains beguiled,
Which, labouring for invention, bear amiss
The second burden of a former child.
(From Shakespeare’s Sonnet 59)
What the old Bard is talking about is the fact that, if nothing is truly new under the sun, then oh how we are deceived in thinking that we were creating something new (hells yeah I just quoted Shakespeare in a business blog … been wanting to do that for a while now … next up is the Ramones).
In all honesty, there is rarely a truly new idea when it comes to the economy and the products and services churned out by businesses like yours and mine. Sure, there may be new approaches and innovations, but it’s almost always a new riff on an old idea.
And that’s perfectly okay, because human evolution and intellect have come about as a series of incremental improvements. Our entire economy as well as the offerings in each industry are based on perpetual trial-and-error and baby steps, and even though companies tout they have devised a “new”, “original” or “unique” product or approach, it couldn’t be further from the truth. BTW, this is why most people don’t believe all the bullshit behind most marketing hype, because we all know that nothing is really “new” or “unique.”
Here’s the problem with this mode of thinking that you have to come up with something wholly novel in order for your efforts to be worthwhile or your business to be successful … it sets you up for failure. You could spend your entire life searching for that one completely novel idea only hit the marble slab never having had that flash of inspiration. Or you could spin your wheels trying futilely to create something so fresh and novel that you miss out on other, less novel but more rewarding and valuable ideas. It’s admirable to want to offer something completely new in our me-too economy, but it will set you up for lots of disappointment and utter failure.
Maybe your offerings aren’t based on a completely original idea or have many similarities to those that have come before. Don’t sweat it. Our small business management app is a variation on a theme (aka project management software for businesses) itself. But here’s the catch … Planning Pod offers a unique combination of tools an entrepreneur needs to run his/her business, and it does so in a way that is highly customizable and integrates with other online applications. We took an old idea and put a new, helpful twist on it for a niche audience.
So instead of beating your head against the wall trying to figure out how to do something truly new in your industry, start looking at what already exists and try to make it better, more efficient or more enjoyable. This could apply to how you support your customers, how you build your products, how you configure features, how you tweak your processes, etc. Then launch and reiterate and repeat. Great businesses are built by people who try a thousand things and stumble across the one thing that sticks.
BTW … I find the debate on Obama’s “you didn’t build that” statement idiotic … stop arguing about who built what and just get to work. We didn’t grow this country by splitting hairs about who is responsible for what … we just put our heads down and got stuff done. Nuff said.
Looking to try a refreshing new twist on the old business and project management software thing … then try Planning Pod free for 30 days and the 22 simple tools inside our app that can help you be more productive and efficient.