You’ve got to admit, that’s a very rational response to last week’s Zombie post. Small, isolated business can’t afford to be distracted, right? “Keep your eye on the ball!” Good advice, but that’s exactly the kind of thinking that ensures we’ll never change.
The evidence has been there for a long time: we aren’t making a case to the world for our value. We shouldn’t rush to dismiss this Zombie game as irrelevant to us when the lesson is that we’re the ones who are irrelevant. My hope is that the shock value of “Plants vs Zombies” is enough to jolt some of us to look outside and say, “What kind of world is this? What’s going on?”
Please allow me to present the first three points to what I’m calling the OpenHort Manifesto.
No. 1: We compete. The competition for attention, relevance and value is global. We are up against everything else that’s trying to capture people’s interest, time and money.
Listen to this and see if it rings true for you: “We’ve seen our sales plummet. The traffic just isn’t there. People aren’t coming in and we don’t know how to get them back. It seems like the only way to make things move is to slash prices. What do we do? We just cut back on purchases and expenses to minimize the losses. We’ve gotta hope for better days.”
Think those missing customers are at your green-industry competitor? Or are they over at the Apple store buying devices to play games like “Plants vs Zombies?”
No. 2: Winning is important. Given that we compete, we should try to win. It’s important that we compete well for our own viability and profitability, and also because our product uniquely helps the world while many competing products do so much harm to our earth, culture and well-being. (Side question: What will winning look like?)
No. 3: We are losing. Wake up. We’re losing this competition, if we’re even in it at all.
OK, enough melodrama! In my next post, I’ll consider three lessons I have learned from “Plants vs Zombies”…Pay attention, Define Value, and Find our voice.
Thanks for reading! There’s a lot more to come, and there’s a lot to do. Also coming soon: some ideas I have about how we could make some of this Zombie-power work for us.
(PS: The quote that began this piece was written by myself to myself. I welcome any comments, especially the negative ones!)