Drive or Get Out of the Car

The Story:

Our Innovations Branding House conference room needed an upgrade. We needed an interactive way to show clients our ideas for their branding.

Plasma TV’s are cheap. Not cheap as in they break easy, but cheap as in you can afford to buy them and just start hanging them around the office to show off work, run presentations and display video the way it was meant to be–HD style.

So when we upgraded the presentation monitor in the conference room we bought a 46” plasma TV for exactly that.

I rarely order electronics online. I am used to going over to the “used to be Circuit City” but now Best Buy at the mall, and receiving instant gratification. Within 30 minutes my very own Innovations Branding House conference room could be illuminated with the alluring, electric, 1080p glow of my newest…PowerPoint.

At the time, my everyday driver was a restored 1980 Stingray Corvette–pure muscle car. Apparently, some men have a medical condition called “Low–T”. That means that their testosterone is low and they get tired and don’t want to lift heavy things or something. Either way, the cure could very well be a daily dose of 260 horse power of torque to the office and back. The only drawback to such an eco-friendly transport is the storage space. The only items typically picked up on the way home from the grocery would be something like a lemon or a lime. Not both though. There’s just not enough room.

My vision of illuminated PowerPoint delight must have clouded my memory of what I was driving.

Fifteen minutes later, two guys from Best Buy wheeled out my purchase. Upon arriving car-side they just paused and laughed. “Chris” we will call him, was convinced that the box would not fit into the car and that I would have to come back. My disappointment was due to his lack of effort. He didn’t even try. The box just sat there on the cart. I soon demonstrated how illumination of my conference room would not be a fading vision.

The amount of pointing, honking and carrying on that resulted in the drive home was worth the purchase price.

The Take Away:

Jump right in and don’t overthink it. It doesn’t mean don’t plan. However, at times I see clients over think a decision, often referred to as analysis paralysis. As a creative group, we welcome creative feedback and critique. But it’s easy to get wrapped up in focusing on the things that don’t matter. You’re probably safe if you can afford to lose so it’s really about calculated risk.

What’s the worst case scenario if this idea fails? Sometimes trying something different can mean a chance of failure, but at what cost? For our team at Innovations Branding House, it can mean:

The Innovation: Try a website that’s so different that the client might not like it.
Worst Case: Client does not approve. Rebuild the website for free.

The Innovation: Buy a broken espresso machine and repair it for the office.
Worst Case: Can’t figure out how to repair. Now proud owner of expensive scrap metal.

The Innovation: Start your own business.
Worst Case: Fail and go get a job.

The Innovation: Keep pushing the plasma TV into the car 50 different ways, until it wants to ride home.
Worst Case:  Won’t fit, come back later. Falls out on ride home. TV ends up in the grass or in a ditch. Forget about it and pretend you spent the day at the beach.

On some of my worst days I try and ask myself this simple question. Will this have any impact on me or my clients in three years?