"Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
- Steve Jobs
We are living in a time of technological revolution, most of which is focused on questions like: How can our lives become easier? How can we change our culture? How can we change the world? Business leaders have asked these over the last ten years. And you know what? They've come up with a few good answers.
Let's change the way people shop.
I just went to Amazon to research a product for WestSide Culture. The Social Network movie, based on Facebook's early years, is $11.99 for Blu-Ray. The place I used to work (I'll go ahead and say it), Borders, used to sell that for $39.99. No wonder they are bankrupt. Even when Borders had the liquidation sale and Blu-Rays were 75% off, it was still cheaper to go to Amazon (no tax). Amazon changed the world. They changed they way we shop.
Let's change the way people pay for things.
Peter Thiel decided one day, wouldn't it be easier to have funds available online where all we need to do is click a single button to pay for items? It would eliminate filling out forms (maybe job application sites should take notice) and regurgitating the same information over and over again just to buy something. Hence, PayPal was born. Another company is making it easy to pay by credit card in person simply by swiping your card into a square plugged into a cellphone, laptop or tablet. That company, Square, was founded by Jack Dorsey, who also helped create Twitter. And speaking of Twitter...
Let's change the way people communicate.
Facebook and Twitter have forever changed who we talk to and how we communicate with them. Today, I was thinking, I should really see what so-and-so is up to. This is someone I haven't talked to in over ten years, still he was one of my best friends, so I looked him up on Facebook. In the old days, I would have needed to remember his parents' phone number (which I still have ingrained in my brain), call them up, if they even still live there and have the same land line (yes, I said land line), just to get so-and-so's number. Or hire a private investigator to track him down.
Now we can see what almost everyone is up to simply by reading status updates or timelines or newsfeeds or insert catchy web jargon here.
Let's change what people buy.
Apple one day said, no more buying CDs from music labels. Also, no more blank CDs, which were a result of people needing a place to store music after illegally downloading it from piracy sites. Apple gave us a place to buy music cheaper than the labels and a place to store it and play it. iTunes and the iPod changed the music industry.
Additionally, why pay $10-$30 for a DVD movie you are only going to watch once at home? Just download it from iTunes for $4.99 and watch it on your TV, laptop, iPhone, iPad or iPod.
Let's change the way people think.
Walt Disney was told his ideas would never work. He had a dream and was determined to make it happen, even after many failures. Imagine the world without Mickey Mouse, without Disneyland, without animation. Now the Disney organization is training other business leaders how to be more creative with the emergence of the Disney Institure, referred to sometimes as D'Think.
What I've learned from all of these companies and iconic leaders is never to give up. If you have a dream and are passionate about it, you can make it happen. It doesn't matter what others say. In the words of Walt Disney, "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
What will you do today?