As it’s May the 4th and a large proportion of our team are self-confessed Star Wars geeks, we decided to reflect on what Star Wars has taught our business…
Note: If everything in here makes total sense then congratulations you are equal or likely surpass our office Star Wars nerdery. If it doesn’t, don’t sweat it, you probably have more friends and get out more!
Here we go…
IV: Do… Surprise people with something new and take a risk… It’s well documented that George Lucas was being pretty out there with this gritty, spiritual, space opera idea and subject to many vocal detractors. However, his timing was right, he disrupted the whole market and gained a huge legion of fans/customers.
V: It’s all about the team- Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie et al. get great results, have fun and you want to be part of their gang. They’re not perfect but they get on a mission, play to their strengths and carry each other through. It’s this camaraderie that’s at the heart of the success of the original trilogy. The prequels substituted team spirit with politics… not so inspirational or aspirational!! T. May and Corbyn action figures anyone?
VI: It REALLY helps to know what people are thinking. OK, so the Jedi mind trick is beyond most of us but there are other ways. Gathering honest uninhibited thoughts and feedback at every opportunity on your products or business is vital (shameless plug alert- the only one I promise). This is what Meetoo is designed to enable organisations to do. You can make better decisions when you open the channels of communication and hear every voice.
I: Get the right team… one ill-fitting team member can drag the whole thing down…. ‘Sorry Mr Binks, nice talking, but I’m not sure you are fit for this project. Oh, and try not to trip on the step on the way out’. If only it had played out this way…
II: Don’t use technology for the sake it. Adding gimmicky technical wizardry or features just because you can might actually make a product too complicated or detract from the value to the user. Ref.- Episodes 1 to 3. (In contrast the digital Governor Tarkin in Rogue 1 is awesome)
III: Build a strong brand, and reflect it in EVERYTHING you do and produce. A strong brand can carry you through a few wobbles, and customers will tolerate the odd misfire if you’re honest with them, but take it for granted and trust can quickly be lost. Most brands wouldn’t have survived what the prequels did. Well done JJ.
VII: Review and re-release. You can always go back and fix stuff later as technology advances or the markets demands it. OK, this might work in business- a slightly contentious issue when it comes to Star Wars. Opinions are mixed on whether ‘Special editions’ drew the right balance between optimisation and meddling… Han definitely shot first!
However… Sometimes it's best to take what you have learnt, draw a line under an old product and start again. With the Force Awakens and Rogue 1…Star Wars is back on top with regards to brand AND product and the future looks pretty secure…
3.5: You need the plans! The rebel fleet of Y-wings and X-wings would have been no match against the Death Star and imperial ships without them. It only took 2 proton torpedoes fired by 19 year old Skywalker to blow the whole thing to dust! Additional lessons, the competition may not be strong as they appear, small can beat big!
VIII: Build a vision for the future, share a little and let your customers be as excited as you… Now, we don’t sell what we don’t have, but we do share where we are going, and listen to any feedback to help get it right. We’re REALLY excited about Episode 8, the title excited us, 5 minutes after the release date announcement I had an outlook invite in my inbox to save the date for a team outing, and that trailer last week, well…
Follow these tips and The Force will be with you… Always…
Peter Eyre Passionate about tech for better meetings and education, SaaS, growth hacking, apps, business, marketing, leadership, travel, surfing, campervans and raising three amazing daughters. CMO at Meetoo, former Managing Director of IML Australia and Managing Director of Lumi UK.
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