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Issue #38: We need to embrace "bold"


James Costa

December 12 · Issue #38 · View online

A batch of thoughts, resources, and motivation from a friendly digital agency owner delivered every Monday at 6am ET.

Last week I was talking to a coffee shop owner about Starbucks’ move to double-down on high-end stores that will sell more expensive coffee as well as wine, craft beer, and cider. For a coffee shop who is known for expensive coffee, it’s wild to think that they’re planning on upping their prices for this new venture. We talked about why they might be making this move, and while we didn’t think the move was a smart one, we appreciated the bold move for a company whose last big move feels like the Pumpkin Spice Latte (released in 2004).
We don’t like change until we like it. In fact, we constantly complain about change. It seems everyone has an opinion on every piece of innovation that is made and all of it is bad. We’re old, bitter people who hate innovation but want more of it. We complain about companies who we feel have lost their edge, and we have better ideas than everyone else. We expect innovation to come to us, as opposed to supporting and embracing it. Often, the biggest risk a business will take is starting. Where does that ambition, drive, and appreciation of being bold go past then? Why do we feel as though being bold is at the expense of running a sustainable business?
We see innovation as only the successes. When Thomas Edison was asked about how it felt to have failed so many times in creating the light bulb, he famously said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Apple released their Macintosh TV 13 years before their Apple TV. We assume these are all overnight successes, but they’re built on innovations both successful and unsuccessful.
I believe we’re breeding is a culture that doesn’t appreciate risk. This, in itself, is risking innovation. If we create a culture where no one takes any risks, we won’t advance. I believe the reason we don’t appreciate risk is in part due to the Law of Accelerating Returns and our expectation that advancements in technology will continue to be exponential. We’re at a point where technology is advancing so fast that we’ve become numb to it: only to truly appreciate it later as ideas are improved upon.
If we want innovation, we have to be a part of it.
PS: If you enjoyed this week’s issue, I’d really appreciate your support sharing it. Whether it’s a forward, a Twitter post, or , it would mean the world.
PPS: Next week will be the final newsletter of 2016 before I take a couple weeks “off” for the Christmas break. The newsletter will return on January 8, 2017.

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“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
The holiday season has begun! Our Christmas tree is up, there’s snow on the ground, and this past Saturday I celebrated Christmas with family as cousins prepare for a month-long trip. During dinner, I was quite pleased to see my family has the same humor I do.
As always, if you have any questions or I can help you in any way, all you have to do is respond to this email!
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