It was before an eager crowd that Guy Kawasaki was giving a speech about the Art of Innovation during the Challenge Your World Rendez-Vous 09.
To make things efficient, he divided his speech in a top ten. I found it very inspiring. It also reassured me, proving me I was doing some things right from instinct. He had a couple of killer lines, one of which stroke a chord: « Make it, sell it, collect it. The faster you ship, the faster you get paid. » Did I mention this was an entrepreneurship conference!
Also, talking about innovation, he made a good point about not resisting the curb, foreseeing change in your business field and embracing new ideas. I could see how it related to photography as the technology as shifted and how the media as evolved, photographers now dealing with not only stills but also motion. In this sense, I believe that photographers no longer have the choice to broaden the spectrum of their offer if they want to survive. You also need to find a niche for yourself. There was a time where generalists could make a great living, but with competition getting fierce and the prices going down, you need to offer something unique if you want to sustain good value. It’s only by offering a unique product that has strong value that you can run a successful business… as long as you stay ahead of the curb!
One point that mystified me is his recommendation on using Twitter. I have yet made the move, converting to the Tweet. I find hard to see what twitter could bring to my business as I think having a blog is already a good way of following my work and communicating ideas, not being limited to 144 characters. But what I seem to be missing is the opportunity to broaden the audience by letting others tweet about me or what I write. Having around 150 hits a day is pretty satisfying to me, but perhaps getting more could be good, for the sake of conversation.
I think I’ll get in touch with a couple of friends to figure out how they are using it and why… very intriguing to me. Very tempting to sign up… Takes me back to when I was hesitating to make the switch from MySpace to Facebook!
So go ahead, follow Guy, jump the curb and read his blog!