I was talking with the ever smart Jeff Brown who does the Read to Lead Podcast (one of my favorites), and we were talking about how podcasting is just booming. Jeff runs a Podcaster Academy. I co-founded PodCamp, etc. It’s a big topic these days.
Jeff said that once at his former job in radio, someone said, “You can’t kill radio. No one will ever listen to a traffic report on a podcast.”
You Will Never See Us Coming
What the guy didn’t know was that podcasting didn’t have to replace traffic reports. Waze did. So we no longer have to suffer through morning drive time formula to hope to catch a word or two about the road we’re likely already on because now an app does that so much better, and we can just listen to the shows we like instead.
That’s how innovation actually works. It’s rarely a direct port from one experience to another. That person felt that traffic was the “secret sauce” of terrestrial radio, but that’s so far from the truth, it’s hilarious. For a certain demographic right now, maybe? But that’s not even as true as it used to be. Look how rare it is to see someone of ANY age without a smart phone. From babies to the ancient ones, smart phones (and thus the ability to make your own traffic report) are ubiquitous.
Innovation works that way. Learning and knowledge are rarely linear. These moments jump tracks.
So what do you do with this?
Focus on the Needs
People don’t need cars. They need to get from one place to another. People don’t need “phones.” They need to communicate. People don’t need “cities” *or* “suburbs.” They need a place to put their things and a place to sleep and a place to eat.
Jacq and I stayed in a beautiful cabin this past weekend because Airbnb makes it easier. If I need a place to gather myself in NYC, I can use Breather to find something very specific.
Focus on the needs and the intentions and you’ll get closer to understanding where the universe is headed. Not always, but enough times. Or even once. If you’re the person way ahead of the curve, then you win.