Attention Companies: Your Next Big Idea Will Come from Us

Guest post by Corvida Raven (Oprah of the Web). Read her on She Geeks | Follow her on Twitter

run-this-town

Using social media isn’t just important, it’s life changing

Do you realize that we are the reason you “make” a living?

Your passion, your ideas, your marketing skills…that’s all just a bonus at the end of the day. Your services solve our problems. We are the reasons for your success. Your fans, your tribes, your family. However, you have to listen in order to discover how we can make you successful. Trust me, we have no problem telling you how to make your product or services a success. Everything else you can do just adds fuel to the fire.

So what does this have to do with social media? Well, for starters you shouldn’t just elicit conversations, you should RESPOND to them. Social media is where we’re telling you how to be more successful, lucrative, or whatever it is you hope your services will allow you to be. We do it everyday, without pay, without schwag, and without any incentives because we genuinely want to help you. Social media is where the conversations for success are happening. This is where the news is happening. THIS IS WHERE YOUR SUCCESS CAN HAPPEN.

WE are your next big idea because in this space, WE control the content. WE decide what’s popular. And WE run this town!

—-

What do you think?

Would love your feedback on what you think might be missing…

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  • http://twitter.com/LenKendall Len Kendall

    Brian,

    Big fan of the blog and your latest book.

    I have to throw some criticism at the title of this post. What are we talking about here? Are you implying that customers will drive innovation of products because their thoughts and conversations are being listened to? I suppose you could argue that eventually an amazing product could be developed based on the insights gained from consumer engagement, but I think that takes away credit from the talented people working in R/D, Design, etc. They put just as much of their own creativity and opinion into creating the next big idea and while the complaints or wants of US is vital to their process, I think their skills in inventing something completely new shouldn't be overlooked.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of crowdsourcing. My latest project (http://the3six5.com) is evidence of that. But that being said, the crowds also produce a lot of terrible ideas as well. I think if I had to rewrite your post's title (I know how audacious of me), I would call it, “Big Companies, We Will Fuel your next big Idea.”

    Great thoughts, enjoy Blogworld.

  • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

    Good morning Len, wonderful thoughts. I don't disagree with you at all. I do find value in your alternative headline. Please keep in mind that this is a guest post by Corvida Raven and I'll let her chime in here.

  • http://shegeeks.net Corvida Raven

    We are the creators, with our thoughts. Listening to our problems, applying our feedback, and connecting with us is the start of creation, hence the idea comes from us. R/D, Design, etc are fuel for the creation's evolution and progress into perfection.

  • http://twitter.com/loucovey loucovey

    Len, we're not looking for amazing products, just what we want. We tired of being told to buy something because someone cooked it up in the lab.

    • http://twitter.com/toestor toestor

      I will provide some support for Len here: “What we want” makes it sound like there is a group of people who all want the same thing. Innovation (or let's just say product development) doesn't happen that way.

      Take cars for example. People (in North America) have been buying into the notion that “bigger is better and safer” just because the auto industry heavily marketed that idea.

      It was not something a particular group of people asked for, but rather a demand that was generated by advertisement and supply of a certain type of product.

      So, while there are products and services that adapt to peoples “wants” through focus groups etc., that is often not where they start. Many inventions are at first considered “crazy” and “unnecessary” by most people.

      It takes one or a few really smart persons to actually create or discover something new. If it was just about what “we want” nobody would probably know that the earth is nor flat nor the center of the universe still to this day.

    • http://shegeeks.net Corvida Raven

      With the use of social media platforms the demand is no longer generated by the company, it's generated by the people who would consider buying their services.

      Understand, people aren't moving away from marketing or even heavily marketed ideas. But we all know that companies seem to never listen to the complaints that consumers make about services, quality of service, customer support and tons more about ONE company on a daily basis. WE mold the reputation surrounding their services a lot more online than companies could ever do at this point.

      Now they can only pull up a chair, listen, and respond accordingly.

  • jeffhammond001

    I like the sentiment alot. It is amazing that some businesses still view customers as outsiders. Having said that, it will take a bit more structure to move the idea of listening to WE to the action of those within the businesses we sometimes think of as THEM. Three general things I believe have to happen for an effective listen-response collaboration are: 1) Engaging lead customers first; 2) Structuring the participation process; 3) Rewarding participation. In this way, we can deliver something useful, usable and desirable while avoiding the type of dysfunctional efforts that sometimes come from confusing needs and wants…as in the glorious Homer Simpson-designed car from the Oh Brother, Where art thou episode! Prior posting on topic here http://whispershout.blogspot.com/2009/05/collab

  • http://twitter.com/SiobhanBulfin Siobhan Bulfin

    A stirring post to start the day – I like it! And all true. I can see some companies though still in 'resistance' mode balking at this thinking we're arrogant little sods trying to incite the masses :) Shame Kraft didn't heed this advice prior to launching their isnack2.0 although they have demurely retracted the name after the community's dissent.

    • http://shegeeks.net Corvida Raven

      It all seems like one of the smartest moves a company can make right now.

      They produce services for us and then wonder how or why it's not selling? 9/10 because they're not listening to what we need or how they can improve what they already have that might be of use to us. Meanwhile, we're blasting away on SM platforms letting them know just how they can get us to buy a new pair of Nike's or Converse All Stars.

  • ThePitchman

    So let me get this straight, my next Big Idea will come from Rihanna, Kanye, & JayZ?

    • http://www.fashionablymarketing.me FashionMarketing

      You wouldn't believe the inspiration that Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 can inspire. Rumored results: Taking it to the next level at the gym, taking blog content to the next level and kicking coffee habits.

    • http://shegeeks.net Corvida Raven

      Yes! Inspiration and big ideas can be powered by others. Aren't they always?

  • jason200620

    Cool blog! I commented here before, its nice to know there are still some great posts out there. Thanks for the great info. Oh, and Happy Halloween! :)
    Jason
    <a href=http:women-sunglasses.com> blog

  • jason200620

    Cool blog! I commented here before, its nice to know there are still some great posts out there. Thanks for the great info. Oh, and Happy Halloween! :)
    Jason
    <a href= http://women-sunglasses.com> blog

  • http://twitter.com/colinnclarke Colin N. Clarke

    Thought provoking. Doubtful that consumers will actually generate the next big idea, BUT if companies listen (as the article states), it will likely serve as a catalyst FOR the next big idea. Innovation comes from delivering things that people never knew they wanted, then creating a desire to have. Social media is an amazing venue for critique, expression and sharing – but a difficult environment in which to generate innovation. I'll place my bets on the thinktank at Apple or Nokia first.

    • http://shegeeks.net Corvida Raven

      Catalyst might be a better word for what I was trying to describe. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Colin. This is all based on my experience though. I think we have the power to be that big idea for companies if they simply listen.

      I think frustration and complication come from delivering things that people never knew they wanted. I want a product that solves the problem I'm having now. Creating a desire equates to creating another problem to solve. This is something companies need to stop doing. Though in a capitalistic society that's almost impossible.

      I do agree with your bets though :) Care to share why Nokia and Apple?

    • http://twitter.com/colinnclarke Colin N. Clarke

      Nokia and Apple are indisputable innovation powerhouses. The products and capabilities that each continue to deliver boggle the mind, both in terms of style and function. Nokia is working on image recognition software built into its camera phones where you can take a picture of something and the the “phone” will search the web for purchase info on that product. Like an auto-Ebay function. Amazing stuff.

      So why are they a step ahead of the masses? Because they are pushing, on the leading edge of the latest technology. They are tuned into stuff that we don't even know exists yet. This alone makes it tough for us to be more than simply “catalysts.” But… our unbridled thinking can certainly be of great benefit to a company that will listen – that we agree on.

  • http://twitter.com/smashadv Jim Mitchem

    I think this kind of post is exactly why big brands are scared to death of social media. while not untrue (to a degree), when brands give up the control they've had forever in traditional marketing/advertising – SM is a leap. A big leap. And we have to respect that, and nurture their support for it. Not ram it down their throats.

    • http://shegeeks.net Corvida Raven

      I'm not ramming down their throats anything they haven't rammed down ours.

  • Gina Cuclis

    So let me see… the cure for cancer and the truly carbon free automobile. The big idea for these will come by listening to consumers via the social web? Very simplistic thinking.

    • adeleberenstein

      I liked this blog post (The next Big Idea will come from us) because it makes you think! I certainly understand your point that technological breakthroughs such as a cure for cancer or carbon free automobile will not come by listening to the consumer or customer. BUT the need for the cure, the need for information about side effects, the need to find something faster, the need to invest to find a cure will come from the public. Similarly the need for carbon free cars to become available more quickly , the kinds of features people want in their carbon free cars..ie the product requirements will come from the public and social media. The social media input will put pressure on the need to create the technology in the backroom faster. Thanks for sharing your ideas too as that also makes one think about what Social Media can and cannot do.

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  • http://www.fashionablymarketing.me FashionMarketing

    Here, here Corvida! You're 100% in saying we have to RESPOND to conversations. I'm glad to see your guest post on PR 2.0

  • http://twitter.com/tweric Eric Matas

    I love a a blog post with the bravado of hip hop. And it fits because it speaks the truth. Key words: listen and respond. You cannot dominate old school, you have to play nice in the sandbox 2.0, 3.0, …

    • http://shegeeks.net Corvida Raven

      Glad you enjoyed the post Eric.

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  • http://www.screensleuth.com/ Screen Sleuth

    Colin: My thoughts exactly…social media can now help drive a good idea and make it reality, not necessarily come up with a brand new idea.

  • adeleberenstein

    I liked this blog post (The next Big Idea will come from us) because it makes you think! I certainly understand your point that technological breakthroughs such as a cure for cancer or carbon free automobile will not come by listening to the consumer or customer. BUT the need for the cure, the need for information about side effects, the need to find something faster, the need to invest to find a cure will come from the public. Similarly the need for carbon free cars to become available more quickly , the kinds of features people want in their carbon free cars..ie the product requirements will come from the public and social media. The social media input will put pressure on the need to create the technology in the backroom faster. Thanks for sharing your ideas too as that also makes one think about what Social Media can and cannot do.

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ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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