I teach a course in innovation for a university in Canada. As we work through the material, my students and I talk about many of today’s most innovative companies – firms like Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Google, the list is a long one. Of course not all innovation comes from the giants – every giant started with one or two dreamers and an idea. We’re seeing giants grow out of simple ideas such as ride and bed sharing (Uber and AirBnB).
Then, there’s the rest of us. Although the companies above employ lots of people, the vast majority of us work for smaller, less flashy concerns, like my day job at Alba Spectrum. We are often the beneficiaries of the work that pathfinder companies do – executing on a local scale what Microsoft does globally. Often we are part of their ecosystem, basking in the reflected light of the value of their products and services.
However, that’s not what keeps us in business. We get the fruits of their labor, but it’s the benefits that we deliver that attract people to us. And we do have to deliver.
I’ve been going through an exercise of understanding our value proposition, with an aim to put it into a pithy slogan, one that can help define what Alba Spectrum is not only to our customers, but to ourselves – the famous elevator pitch when someone asks “So, what do you do?” Well, I’m a sales guy, we have programmers, consultants, administrators, and managers. We…
And that’s where I get to – what are we? So the logical next step was to ask some of our customers what they thought we were. And as you can imagine, we get a lot of different answers, depending upon what our customer needs at the time we engage. But one message came through pretty much every time we asked – your solution “just works”.
Hard to build a multi-national, multi-billion dollar enterprise on that little catchphrase isn’t it?
Or is it? When you think about what you like about the products and services that delight you, isn’t that one of the things that turn out to be the most important? I mean, who wants a solution that actually makes the situation worse? Or one that’s everything it could be, but bankrupts you? In the end, we need stuff to work. So, while I continue to develop the catchphrase that will lead off Alba Spectrum PowerPoints next year – maybe something like:
Powering the Proactive Enterprise
I’ll keep our customers’ common testimonial in mind:
It Just Works