The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Event Review: KPI – Become a Key Person of Influence — February 10, 2013

Event Review: KPI – Become a Key Person of Influence

What: KPI event or an introduction to an entrepreneur growth accelerator designed to assist small businesses through a growth phase.
Over Heard: “There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. There are opportunities for everyone.”

Captivated audience
Captivated audience

Last Saturday, the KPI event kicked off 2013 with over 670 people attending the conference at NAIDA in spite of the rain… this big number shows how much people, are they owners of small businesses or entrepreneurs, are eager to learn more about how to make a difference in their industry or even to the world.

The KPI Accelerator programme presents itself like a recipe to follow in order to achieve success in your industry. The motto being to love what you do, to stay authentic and to be ready to spare no expense to make it real… sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

Let’s start the journey with Glen Carlson and Daniel Priestley, our hosts for the day. Glen has an impressive list of professional achievements and describes himself as a startup enthusiast and a fun hunter. Daniel is known for coining the phrase ‘Global Small Business’ and believes that an Entrepreneur Revolution is unfolding. He is  also the best-selling author of the book Key Person of Influence.

We are no longer in the Industrial Age; we are in the Ideas Economy and everything has changed.

Being a key person of influence means having a voice within the industry. Influence comes from being a visible, remarkable, credible and valuable person in the inner-circle of the industry you love. Back in the days, what made you a person of influence was the family you were born, the school you went to and a touch of luck. Today, we’re facing a critical change: we came from the Industrial Age to the Ideas Economy and with the development of technology and smart devices everyone has a factory in his pocket. The last five years have seen a huge shift and with no geographic barriers, more and more people are working for themselves and today, your soft skills are what makes the difference.

Let’s be back to the recipe or five-step methods to set you and your business apart:

KPI event 5 steps

1. You need a Perfect Pitch: it’s all about answering the “What do you do?” question. You may have a great product, service or idea but if you can’t communicate its values in a remarkable way, you’ll always struggle. Words have power: they can convey what you stand for or against. “Being able to describe what makes you or your product unique is key to your success. This is called the unique value proposition”, explained Ian Elliot.  Defining your niche can also help you to stand out from the crowd: it’s better to be famous in a small area than being all things to all people. Crafting your brand essence will ensure your business grow as an authentic expression of who you are: the brand essence is the core spirit behind your business. When you’re working on your elevator pitch, don’t forget the customer. Understand him: who is he? what does he want? need? expect? What are his rational, emotional and corporate needs? A satisfied customer is a worthless asset.

Consistency in little things and continuity across all your messages: they are things that matter.

2. You need to Publish your ideas: in the Ideas Economy, publishing positions you as an authority. Andrew Griffiths is Australia’s #1 small business author with 11 books sold in over 50 countries. As he said : “Before I wrote my first book, I was an idiot. After I published it, I was a genius”. Following the success of his first publication, Andrew decided to leverage the power of his book and wrote a second one, then a third… up to eleventh! This gave him a huge competitive advantage in his industry as being an author gives credibility. Andrew explained why publishing makes a difference:

  • It shows that you have information that is valuable to others
  • It sets you apart from other people in your chosen field
  • It also demonstrates that you have the discipline to complete a major project that requires structure and creativity
  • It also shows that you have convictions and are brave enough to back yourself

If you are unsure of your capacity of writing a book, you can start with your own blog, a website, some white papers or even Twitter. Publishing in your industry shows that you are a person to be consulted, engaged, listened to and sought for advice. But unlike Andrew whose business is writing books, you don’t have to write 11 books to get noticed.

There has never been a better time to publish with the new publishing landscape.

3. You need to Productise your values: time is money and as an entrepeneur, making the most of your time and making money is crucial. But regularly people get it wrong by sticking to the OOPS model: Only One Product/Service that makes them dependent in terms of brand, time and capital.To make money, you have to create value. Product and service don’t make money. The product eco-system can change that: for example, Steve Jobs decided to heavily promote the iPod which turned out to be a huge success. This was also the first key entrance for customers into Apple’s world. People were then ready to buy Mac computers. Defining the asset of your product is another way to increase your value: What is your asset? Is it said in your positioning? Can you develop your product or the scale of your product? Multiple products sold through multiple channels mean multiplying your value.

Income follows assets. Defining the assets of your product is what will allow you to earn money.

4. You need to raise your Profile: being good at what you do is no longer enough. You need to stand out and using social media is one of the best tactics to achieve it. In a world where everything can be Googled, you have to do your best to ensure the results that show up are positive and convincing enough to win the deal. Kylie Bartlett shared be sure that your pitch and message are replicated across all your social media; content is the new currency: write, publish, share and syndicate all your content across the web; don’t do social media without a strategy to transform leads into sales; pay attention to your digital footprint, be sure that there is coherence; enjoy social media as it allows you  to meet interesting people that could bring you new opportunities.

When your customers Google you, they want to see a video, updates, dowloads, community and dynamic information.

5. You need great Partnerships: Partnership creates wholesale value. The IRL (Illusion of Limited Resource) prevents you from doing what you want: you think you don’t have enough time or money or people. But there is an amazing network of partners out there ready to give you what you need. As Daniel Priestley said, “There is no such thing as a self-made millionaire”. The beauty of the partnership is that you don’t need to have all things, you partner with those who have what’s missing. Ideas are great but worthless in themselves; implementation is everything. Cathy Burke, the CEO of The Hunger Project in Australia came to explain how she mastered the art of mobilising key resources like time, money and knowledge via strategic joint ventures and partnerships. When she approaches CEOs, rather than saying that the aim of The Hunger Project is to put an end to the worldwide hunger, she explains that it seeks to empower people to resolve their hunger problem. And that changes everything. To explain the essence of the partnership, Cathy shared an african proverb:

If you want to go quick, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.

The KPI event was a great introduction to the 5-step method developed by Daniel Priestley to become the new Steve Jobs or new Larry and Sergey of your industry. Let’s conclude with few words: opportunity is nowhere = now here.

Kpi event

About our ambassador // Delphine Vuagnoux is a community ambassador for Sydney. She is passionate about innovation and social change. She does her best working at All Together Now and Medianet. You can find her on Twitter here: @delphinevuagnou.

Interview: UK Local, Joanna Montgomery — June 29, 2012

Interview: UK Local, Joanna Montgomery

This week, The Fetch London curator, Chloe Nicholls, interviews Joanna Montgomery from Little Riot, a company which specialises in connecting people with technology, through design.

Joanna Montgomery, Little Riot

Website: http://www.littleriot.co.uk

Twitter: @joannasaurusrex

Tell us a little about your company Little Riot and how it evolved from a research company to a design and product development agency?

I graduated in 2010 and started the company almost straight away. I knew I wanted to run my own business, and exploring the ways people communicate using technology really interested me – but when my degree project, Pillow Talk, began to receive so much publicity, I knew I needed to focus on developing it into a commercial product.

Little Riot specialises in ”connecting people with technology, through design”. What inspired you to design and develop your first product ‘Pillow Talk’?

I studied Interaction Design at university and, along the way, I began to find it frustrating that technology has become quite two-dimensional. Things that are ‘interactive’ used to be really exciting and engaging – but now they all revolve around the same things; screens, buttons, etc. I thought technology could do better, so I set out to develop a more intimate way for two people to interact – and so Pillow Talk was born.

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? 

My boyfriend of three years works on a ship which builds off-shore wind farms, so he spends over half the year at sea! It’s not really a conventional “long distance relationship” – but we do spend a lot of time apart.

Since you launched the idea of ‘Pillow Talk’ (via a very successful YouTube video campaign) have you been able to bring your product to market?

The product has been in development for about eighteen months now. We’re on the home stretch and – subject to securing a bit more funding – are on track to release Pillow Talk this year. Developing a physical, technological product is a very expensive and time-consuming process with a lot of hurdles to overcome.

What are some of the challenges you have faced in designing, developing and manufacturing a product for consumers?

Pillow Talk started out as a university project and I remember deciding I was going to turn it into a commercial product… and then looking down at my homemade prototype, with wires hanging out of it, and thinking “where do I start?!”. I had just graduated and I didn’t have a clue where to begin, so I guess the biggest challenge was coming up with a realistic game plan. I had no business experience, no product development knowledge, and was founding a company on my own. I had to build a team around me very quickly and finding the right people to support me was challenging. The last year and a half has been an incredibly steep learning curve and the reality is that every single day brings a new challenge.

What other products do you love that connect people through great technology and design?

Right now I’m a big fan of the Pebble watch which just raised a whopping $10m on crowdfunding site Kickstarter. It’s a really nice way of integrating technology within people’s lives and I suspect that is why it’s so popular. However, I would still like to see more products that have a focus on communication hit the market.

You’ve won some great awards and funding during the lead up to the launch of Pillow Talk; £25,000 development funding from the Technology Strategy Board, winning £10,000 at NACUE’s National Varsity Pitch Competition and £1000 for Shell Livewire Grand Ideas Award, do you have any tips and tricks to other entrepenuers pitching their product for funding?

I’ve been really lucky. My best advice is to just believe in your product and always be honest. If you are committed and passionate, it will show, and if you have an idea worth believing in then people will support it. Know your business inside out – a lot of people I know get the most nervous over the Q&A session that usually follows a pitch, but if you can’t answer every question you are asked, then you’re not working hard enough to understand your goals.

What’s getting you excited about startups and small business at the moment? Any great tools and sites you would like to share?

I’m a big fan of Shell LiveWIRE. They offer several £1,000 cash awards every month for 16-30yr olds. I won a Grand Ideas Award in May last year – but the support and opportunities I have received since have been far more valuable. The site also has a buzzing community where there are always people to offer advice and bounce ideas off.

You are based in Newcastle. Can you tell us London fetchers about the tech and startup scene there? Any events you recommend we should attend?

Newcastle now has a great tech and start-up scene. There is a thriving community of start-ups and support networks, with regular events and after-work get-togethers. Soon to launch for its second year is Europe’s first £1m tech accelerator programme, Ignite100 which offers a 13-week mentorship programme and the opportunity to receive VC funding at the end. It all kicks off in September, so the North East will see another influx of creative start-ups and businesses [Entries for application close on 30th June 2012].

Finally what’s next for Little Riot and are you bring any other products to market?

Pillow Talk is due to launch this year. At the moment, all of our focus is on this, but we do have plans for other products in the future, so watch this space!

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