Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What Innovators can Learn from a Snake

I don't know if you have followed the drama in New York this week, but it seems that many people are caught up in the news story about a missing Egyptian Cobra that escaped from the Bronx Zoo. It is probably a mixture of fear and humor that keeps this story alive, but today I want to talk with you about an innovative individual who stepped into the Cobra's news cycle and started something viral. Someone, realizing the opportunity for humor and attention, set up a Twitter account called @bronxzooscobra soon after the story hit the national headlines. They proceeded to share humorous short posts about what the cobra might be doing in New York City without the proper supervision. That simple twitter feed went from a few thousand followers on Monday to over 100,000 followers by the end of the day on Tuesday. What caused that kind of growth and what can we learn from our friend the cobra? Here are a few key things that the cobra's twitter crew did right: 1. A Real Event: They realized that as long as the cobra was loose it would be a story. This meant that they could tie their humor and content to a real event with real drama. 2. Authenticity: The people running the twitter feed are obviously from New York. Their content is authentic to the city with mentions of bakeries, famous people in New York and so on. 3. Quality Content: The writing is good and the humor is hilarious. That is the most important differentiator. They are not just posting random thoughts. The humor and the writing are well thought out and done in such a way as to appeal to different audiences in the city and around the world. So the next time you want to launch a viral marketing campaign to engage people with your new innovation, make sure to take these three pointers from our friend the cobra!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Engaging in Crisis

I'm sure that each of you has been watching the huge tragedy in Japan over the past 48 hours. It is to incredible to even imagine. In these moments when I can't even get my head around what has happened somewhere in the world, my question as an innovator is to ask, "What unique and intentional approach should I take in my response?"

Are you asking that question?

Well, I thought I would share my approach in hopes that it encourages you to identify how God will have you respond. From my perspective, in a moment like this I need to connect with God about what is going on and then connect with man in response.

So our family will be reading and praying through the Operation World entry for Japan and asking God to be with the people of that country this weekend. You can see a shortened version of the entry here:

Then we will be reaching out through an organization called CRASH Japan. One of our Innovation In Mission group members is a part of this effort on the ground in Japan. It is a group within Japan set up to do relief and development work and is uniquely positioned to reach out to their own people and be a light in this dark time. If you are interested in CRASH Japan, please click here:

Blessings as you take an innovative approach to your response.