Why is your life a routine? Is it because you follow a regular pattern of events and happenings through the day? From the time you get up in the morning, say at 8.47AM, till the time you go off to bed again, is your life a pivoted routine without realization of anything else that is possible in the day? Some very trivial examples, which many of us do not even care to notice, in our daily lives provide substantial evidence of monotonicity that we entrepreneurs must deride.
Look at the way the newspaper vendor rolls the newspaper and throws in on your 3rd floor balcony, or how the milkman puts the milk packets exactly at the same place outside your door, how the passengers in the crowded train manage to stand on one hand support, how your beautiful receptionist greets you in the same way everyday, how you always think of breaking free from the regular set pattern of life. Matrix.
Tracking each event in your life will help you plot a pattern graph. I am sure Pi readers must be thinking why we are even talking about this here? Well, I normally talk about artistic side on Pi and this piece is nothing but an ensemble of pattern identification, from entrepreneurship point of view. Our patterns must be to differentiate from one artist and another. This is how the individuality is built to work in professional life.
For example, today some good aspiring painters might be influenced by Andy Warhol (I am sure most of you techies might not know about him) and would like to imitate his art. But imitation is often preceded by the word ‘cheap’. And cheap is what will make you lose your mojo. It will dissolve your identity, kill individuality. You will fall in the same league as of Andy and he who had the first-movers advantage will take away all the prize as father of pop-art. Internet startup is like a canvas too, and he who executes fast and differentiates well (I mean does not follow) is going to be the winner. Winner takes it all.
So coming back to defining your pattern, look at your way of looking at things, your way of expression and that’s how your work becomes a head turner.
Invent a pattern – Your patten of riding a bright red 1970’s scooter to office, your handwriting, your work of art, your standard line of comment on the code, your pattern of adding nail scratches on the oil paint or your special chord on the guitar is YOU. Master it. You have to become the master of your pattern to define yourself. Be very articulate about how you want to project yourself, and project your work as so as to be able to become a head-turner.
In Bollywoood, for example, music was never like Dev D’s sound tracks and dance coups until the phenomenal success of Dev D’s music by Amit Trivedi happened. In a cheap imitation market where music directors simply rip off foreign music and popularize it, here we saw fresh work from Amit giving music a new flavor between folk and rock. A definitive experimental sound. It gripped the hindi music listeners and defined Amit’s style and pattern of work.
Practice the pattern- Pattern is formed by repetition. Practice your own set of events, your art-form, your style of poetry or music so that it – well – becomes a pattern in the first place. With practice and repetition you’d gain perfection, and build a treasure of new creation with saleable value. That’s how your USP will be built and you can position without falling pray to easy ‘plagiarism’. Keeping away from plagiarism is the hardest part, trust me.
Promote your pattern- Once you have it in you, promote your finished product – the pattern – to the right audience. Get noticed. Marketing your creation is as important as creating it. In fact it is more important than creating it. Ensure that your customers don’t get confused, and you stay on top of their minds.
Continue to Innovate and rebuild your pattern- Evolution, just in-case you thought that once pattern is set, it would continue to yield results forever – hold on! There is a saying, make an idiot proof system and someone will create a better idiot. That is how the system and competition will reinvent itself. 🙂 Revisit your patterns regularly, tweak it and stay mainstream. Balance between reality and rules. If you plan to bring out a major change in your style of work, in your own set pattern, do it gradually so that your fans and admirers do not lose faith in you or get confused. Educate with the gradual changes and that’s how market will adapt and add up to your new perception map.
Playing a company is all about perception. Business is perception management altogether.
Look at your daily routine and define your own set of rules, your patterns to bring out the entrepreneurial quality within. Although I have taken art/ music as an example here but I feel these basic pointers relate to all of us in real life and any one who plans to become a game changer needs to learn these basic tactics.
What do you think Pi?