“The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.” George Bernard Shaw
This weeks show was broadcast live from the Unreasonable Institute in Boulder, Colorado. The mission of Unreasonable is:
… gets entrepreneurs what they need to scale solutions to the world’s biggest problems at programs ranging from 5 days to 5 weeks. We do this by identifying entrepreneurs with the potential to address problems like poverty, lack of education, and social injustice at scale, and then by swarming them with hand-picked mentors, funders, and partners to help grow their impact. And once entrepreneurs leave our program they can forever access and engage with this global network of entrepreneurs, mentors, and funders that now spans over 50 countries. Our goal is to help each of these ventures scale up to meaningfully impact the lives of at least one million people each.
Guest: Daniel Epstein – Co-Founder of Unreasonable Group
Daniel’s life has been shaped by a fundamental belief that entrepreneurship is the answer to nearly all the issues we face today. By the time he received his undergraduate degree in philosophy, he’d already started three companies. In 2012 he was recognized by Inc. Magazine as a “30 under 30 entrepreneur” and by Forbes as one of the “top 30 most impactful entrepreneurs” of the year. In 2013, he received the prestigious “Entrepreneur of the World” award along with Richard Branson at the Global Entrepreneurship Forum. Today, this passion for entrepreneurship and startups has led to the creation of Unreasonable Group ( www.unreasonablegroup.com ).
Guest: Gavin Armstrong – Founder and CEO Lucky Iron Fish
Gavin is a PhD Candidate in biomedical science at the University of Guelph and is a Fulbright Scholar. He has received the William J. Clinton Hunger Leadership Award and the Michaëlle Jean Humanitarian Award. He has also received the Mayor’s Award of Excellence, has been named one of the Top 40 under 40 in the Guelph community, and has been named a fellow emeritus of both the Hunger Solutions Institute and the Kirchner Food Fellowship.
Guest: Rubayat Kahn – Co-Founder of mDoc
Rubayat Khan is a social entrepreneur, development practitioner and data scientist from Bangladesh specialized in the rapidly growing intersection between scalable low-cost technologies and international development challenges. He is also a global pioneer in the use of cutting-edge data mining, predictive modeling and interactive data visualizations to make development interventions and research more impactful and efficient.
Killer Question/Mind Hack
How can I eliminate customer hassles and create unique benefits for my customers?
Why do people choose you over your competitors? Or, vice versa?
How do you go about eliminating a hassle or creating a benefit to your customer if there is no obvious reason for them to pick you over your competitor?
I pretty much hate flying these days, which is unfortunate, because I log a minimum of a quarter-million miles every year. Travel is at best a neutral experience, and at worst an awful one, but that’s probably not news to you.
Every new hassle of flying is absorbed into the “new normal” and accepted by travelers relatively quickly.
Who would have thought that the flying public would accept more intense and invasive warrantless pat-downs than some police forces are authorized to do—especially when there is no evidence that these searches actually accomplish anything? But the public has.
The point is that customers are generally quick to accept a reduction in “pleasantness” and an increase in hassles, especially when the individual businesses that comprise an industry present a united front on the issue (for example, seemingly coordinated price hikes or near simultaneous service downgrades).
As frustrating as these situations are, they also present an opportunity. Low expectations and hassles are something to take advantage of, because they are an opportunity to surprise and excite your customer.
If you can twist these hassles and make people pleased to get an experience that feels new and exciting, or even just approximates old standards of service, they’ll be happy.
Just acknowledging the reality of the downgraded experience instead of trying to pass it off as something done “for your convenience” helps mitigate customer frustration and reduces the perception of a hassle.
One of my favorite airlines right now is Southwest, which is funny because I’m guaranteed an economy seat on them, rather than the business or first-class seat I get on a legacy carrier.
Why do I like Southwest? They’re pretty much perkless, but the minimal service they offer is given in a straightforward, easy-to-use way.
They don’t over-promise and, as a result, don’t under-deliver. The experience is consistent and uniform; I may not be excited to be flying them, but I’m not disappointed, either.
No hassles, no headache.
So ask yourself …
- What hassles would I need to overcome for my customers in order to leapfrog over my competitors’ product?
- What would I need to do differently?
- How will our competitors respond to these changes?
Just as you go to the gym to work out your physical muscles, we all need to exercise our creative muscle.
So your assignment this week:
List 5 customer hassles that you can identify. For each hassle, come up with 5 ideas to overcome them. You will then have 25 ideas that eliminate customer hassles that you can use to disrupt the competition
If you discover some interesting idea, post them in the comments section. That way, you can inspire others to look beyond the obvious.