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Don’t Guess; Watch.

The largest companies we have watched unfold over the last 20 years didn’t get there by taking a blind bet on their intuition. They got there by observing what was happening in front of them and acted fast. In hindsight, it looks like these people were futuristic visionaries who just knew that the internet, online shopping, ride-sharing, or a million other things was the next big thing. They didn’t.

What people like Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Travis Kalanick of Uber have in common is that they saw an increasing demand for convenience. They closely watched what was happening as the internet continued to evolve and change our lives. A common theme was how valuable time and convenience were to the end consumer. Time and convenience continue to increase in value due to the instantaneous nature of the internet.

This mentality of closely observing the market and human behavior to dictate your next business decision applies to every business, now more so than any other time. This is true because of how fast life is changing.

As current platforms evolve, new ones emerge, and your customer changes their focus by the day. Opportunity is presented to all who are willing to put in the work. The things I write about will never be “secret sauces” so to speak. They are strategies I believe in, which require diligent work.

What does closely observing the market look like?

It means you go onto social platforms intending to learn human behavior and not content consumption. This is a tall order considering how easy it is to be distracted on social media. That said, it’s work that has to be done, so commit to it.

An hour per day of intentional observation will leave you with some insights you didn’t know existed prior to this action. Read posts, consider all the angles of context (the platform, the medium of communication, the tone, who’s posting, who’s listening, what’s the message, etc.), and watch how the general public reacts. Read comments, lots of them, and reply to some of them if you’re interested in learning something even deeper.

This is a very rinse and repeat type of method. The more you do this, the more you learn. Use these insights to leverage your storytelling moving forward. If you do this correctly, you now have a better idea of who your audience is, what they want to hear, how they want to hear it, and what stimulates engagement and positivity towards your message.

Now go get em’!

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