My lost month of January is over. I’m back from the ANLA Clinic (which was awesome beyond words) and I am energized to get this year rolling. After being on the road every week of January, I’m ready to actually do some work.
We’re chock full of ideas. In a couple weeks, I should have a really cool parody trailer of the movie TRON…a futuristic computer world where the only thing illegal is…gardening and plants.
In the meantime, here’s an odd article about robot-assisted gardening. Check it out.
OK. So, if you’re at the ANLA Clinic (and you should be if you’re smart) then you might see a collection of some pretty cool posters with some fairly bold statements. And you may be thinking, “What is OpenHort?”
OpenHort is not a business. We don’t charge anything.
OpenHort was started after last years’ ANLA Clinic with the idea that we should be sharing green-industry marketing a lot more than we do: photos, videos, articles and ideas.
Our main business is a wholesale container nursery. We wanted to make marketing materials that our customers (independent landscapers and garden centers) could use via social media to promote their businesses. We decided to share these to everyone and anyone via a open-source community. Hopefully, others may want to do the same and OpenHort can build into a grass-roots national marketing campaign.
It’s nice to meet people at tradeshows, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming ANLA Management Clinic. But, if our interaction doesn’t happen here, or some other site, where it is in the open and archived--it likely won’t push innovation forward. Why?
Have you heard of TED? It’s an organization that has really smart people give talks chock full of “ideas worth spreading.”
I’m not a TED fanatic, but I’ve watched a few talks. They’re good stuff. But I want to share with you a TED video I’ve watched several times. I think it contains a crucial lesson for our industry.
The director of TED, Chris Anderson, has given two talks. The first was titled, “A Vision for TED,” which he made long ago in 2002 prior to taking over TED leadership. His second came this past July: “How web video powers global innovation.” Basically, he says that naturally innovative people will put their talents into overdrive when they have three things: an audeince, an open stage and talented competition.
Watch this video and ask yourself, “When it comes to convincing the world the value of our plants, do we need to step our game up?”
So, what’s the prospect for the Green Industry? Do we have talented innovators in our industry? Do we have the desire?
Anderson says, “The hardest part is the light, because it means you have to open up and show your stuff to the world. It’s by giving away what you think is your deeepest secret that [others] are empowered to improve it.”
What is “light?” Andersen says that light is “comments, links, Facebook, Twitter, number of views.” This is where we stink as an industry. We are absolutley lame. Yeah, I’m calling us out. We think of ourselves as being perhaps the most “open” industry, where we share trade secrets and swap propagation techinques. But, according to TED, that kind of “good-ole-boy” openess is not what drives innovation. It’s light, and as he defines light, we are almost completely in the dark.
OpenHort is a site that wants to be a source of light. The innovators in our industry need (as Anderson lists) commenters, trend-spotters, cheerleaders, skeptics, mavericks and super-spreaders. Which one are you going to be?
You’re more than welcome to do it right here at OpenHort! Leave a comment to let me know that you are willing to do your part. I ask, not to build my ego or to make money off of you, but because for innovation to accelerate we need light!