Posts Tagged 'Ideas'

Resolved in Recovery

It was simply the strangest thing. Over the past week or so I’ve had my head deep in development mode for a new service to Australians that should be launched tomorrow in beta. Don’t Tell has always been on the back of my mind – it just isn’t moving as quickly as I want it to in the direction I want it to. How can I make it move the right way?

Cut back to Thursday night when I underwent surgery to have my collar bone put back into place by inserting some pins and a plate (I’m now part machine – look out!). Before the operation I’d lost a bit of my interest in Don’t Tell and all my other ideas, I just couldn’t get too motivated. Maybe it was because nothing was really happening, maybe because all my efforts seemed to hit brick walls, maybe this idea just wasn’t meant to work.

I went into surgery at about 7.30pm – 8pm and went under a general anaesthetic. I was knocked out about half way through a conversation with one of the surgeons…

Only to awake in a different room, with a nurse present (no surgeons), trying to finish that conversation! I realised the silliness of this and stopped talking, just lying there recovering and steadying my mind and breathing.

It was at this time that suddenly an entire deal structure, product channel and way of pushing Don’t Tell forward sprang into my mind. The whole thing! After surgery I couldn’t sleep because I was so busy writing everything down.

My enthusiasm and motivation is renewed, let’s see how it all goes…

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“Yeah that’s a great idea!”

In trying to get www.donttell.com.au up with thousands of Australian women interested in fashion visiting each day I’ve had a lot of “yeah that’s a great idea” from both male and female friends. However, translating that “yeah that’s a great idea” into a “yeah I’ll tell all my friends” or a “yeah I’ll help you create content!” is a whole different ball game.

You’re making a pitch to the individual, you need to understand what they’re after and you need something to back it up. When I first started telling people my pitch – “it’s this great place where people can share clothes, fashion and beauty you should help out!” – it didn’t take into account their needs and I didn’t have enough content on the site to back anything up. I didn’t ask myself “why would they want to help?”

Now, whenever I’m speaking to anyone that says “yeah that’s a great idea!” I start thinking:

  1. What is this person interested in? What are they passionate about? In this case of Mia her interest was in fashion and her passion was in writing. She just loves writing – so I gave her a blog!
  2. What is their situation? The first person I tried to involve in www.donttell.com.au had just started a new job that they wanted to excel at. I tried to get them deeply involved in everything, I should have considered their situation and involved them in light, quick and fun tasks.

Once I can see the angle they’re coming from I look at what, at that exact moment they could start doing for Don’t Tell. It’s important that it must be something concrete, not everyone dreams as much as you or I do and can hang around for those dreams to start becoming reality.

I Listened Too Much

I listened too much.

I know everything you read these days says “listen listen listen”, but I just did it too much – I wouldn’t talk at all. When you’re trying to start a business, that is sell your non-existent revenue stream , your non-existent brand and your non-existent product you need to be able to talk and your need to be able to talk convincingly.

By going to events and ensuring I was always in conversation with someone, cold calling people and firming up my pitch I’ve become a better talker.

I’m not advocating just blabbing to anyone, on the contrary I think it’s extremely important that you always take the time to listen to someone else. Not only are they probably a very interesting person but you gain an understanding of where they are coming from.

There is no sense talking accounting to a brick layer.  Just like there is no sense pitching the benefits of targeted online marketing to someone who doesn’t yet understand the benefits of going online.

1300-eatout: the power of a good pitch

1300-eatout. It was a great pitch but unfortunately the idea behind it lacked, in my opinion, any real business opportunity. So, I wondered, how did 1300-eatout make it to the final round of the first PitchClub Sydney event?

  • The pitcher’s message was clear, you knew what he was proposing: 1300-eatout. It was repeated constantly throughout the pitch. (My repetition in this post will probably make you remember 1300-eatout!)
  • The pitch was short and sharp. Contrast this to pitchers that went on or over their timelimit and seemed to be rambling without mentioning the clear benefit or reasons as to why I would use their product.
  • The pitcher spoke very clearly and loud enough for all to hear. At the other end of the spectrum I struggled to hear a lot of the other pitchers.

The message was clear, everyone knew what the pitcher was talking about but the business idea, a number and website to book a restaurant, just didn’t cut the mustard. He had no real idea about how many people would use his product – “imagine if 5% of the $X million people spend on eating out went to my business…” He had no clear path of reaching those customers. He was also just in the “ideas stage”.

It still goes to show that if you pitch well, you might just get that foot in the door sooner.

Jumping the gun on ideas

About a year ago, I was looking at an idea I had for a partner/reseller model for the product I work on (Process MeNtOR) at my day-job. I jumped the gun and didn’t approach the idea properly.

I skipped looking at what each party gained from the idea. I skipped quantifying and researching the idea based on those hot buttons. I skipped putting together a plan to take the idea to the next level (in this case it would have been a trial with one partner).

This all lead to a lot of “yeah that’s great idea Scott” and not the idea not really going anywhere.

Now a year later, there are a few ideas and opportunities on my plate and I’m determined to approach these ideas properly.

With these ideas,

  • I’m looking at what each party gains. “What’s in it for them?”
  • I’m doing the research, I’m gathering facts, figures, comparisons, you name it

Once the research starts to take shape I’ll begin developing a realistic plan for moving the idea forward.


Scott Middleton
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