When I walked into the Florida Theatre for the One Spark Jacksonville Speaker Summit I had no idea I would incorporate terms like info-sponging and FOMO into my vocabulary.
For those of you who don’t know, FOMO is the fear of missing out; I’ll get into info-sponging in just a bit.
Last year’s One Spark Jacksonville Speaker Summit was interesting, but there was something about this year’s lineup that was especially inspiring and relevant.
From Jason Zook whose unconventional marketing tactics won him media acclaim and some pretty decent earnings for wearing t-shirts with company logos on them to Ted Murphy who built, bought and sold several companies, raising more than $36 million in equity for his many entrepreneurial endeavors to former GE CEO Jack Welch, many of the speakers had climbed the ladder of success several times and also faced failure multiple failures throughout their careers.
Their sharing both of those experiences with other idea makers, innovators and entrepreneurs like myself at One Spark Jacksonville was refreshing and real, especially in a dynamic and ever-evolving global marketplace.
But beyond inspiration, the One Spark speakers I listened to provided me with ways to spark ideas that can revolutionize the business world as well as unique insights on how to market them to make sparks fly with clients.
One way is info-sponging, what priceline.com founder Jeff Hoffman refers to as the process of learning one new thing every day by opening your mind and seeing the world around with the inquisitiveness and curiosity of a five-year old.
By learning about things you don’t need to know outside your industry, you are “collecting puzzle pieces from the world around you to form new idea,” according to Hoffman.
With those puzzle pieces and newfound knowledge, you can hold a blue-sky session with a few other people where you try to reinvent an industry or pose the question “What would I do differently, if I could start my business over again from scratch?”
No idea is too crazy during these blue sky sessions and you have to let those “no gravity ideas fly.”
But perhaps the most important habit of many successful entrepreneurs, Hoffman shared, is scheduling time outside the office. It’s the best way to test out your new idea to see if it will work.
Doing these things led Jeff Hoffman to come up with the idea for priceline.com, and we all know that aside from the humorous persona of The Negotiator we’ve come to love, the world of travel planning has never been the same.
Hoffman’s assertion that “entrepreneurship is planting the seeds of an idea and growing it” gave me a lot of food for thought.
Following Hoffman, Tamara Mendelsohn, VP of Marketing at Eventbrite, talked about how that idea turns into a love brand through relationship building and engagement.
“No one wants to be targeted; they want to build a relationship,” she explained.
Mendelsohn explained how brain activity when people talk about a brand they love is the same as when they talk about a person they love.
There is a real emotional connection we feel with brands that comes from companies humanizing their brands. That really struck a chord with me because that’s what I do. I humanize brands by creating compelling corporate video stories about them.
My videos focus on the passion behind brands—the very reason they exist. By telling those stories, I create a more open and connected world, a shared common experience, if you will. My corporate video stories capture the real life experiences that define us and change lives.
As evidenced by Eventbrite’s success, people are craving those real life experiences because they feel most connected to our world and others when they share common experiences. Whether it’s aerial yoga or a pop-up dining event, Eventbrite exists because of the power of experiencing events together.
“Millenials are not buying cars, they are buying experiences that create who they want to become,” says Mendelsohn.
The corporate video stories I produce not only humanize a brand they reflect the values of an organization that are part of who we aspire to be.