The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World Paperback – 4 Oct 2012
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With characteristic clarity Johansson presents an account of how randomness can enhance success in business and your own life (Sir Ken Robinson, bestselling author of The Element)
Frans Johansson is a master storyteller and one of the most innovative thinkers I know. (Teresa Amabile - Professor, Harvard Business School)
An informed and measured account (Financial Times)
A terrific read, smartly researched, full of stories you find yourself repeating to others (Management Today)
About the Author
Frans Johansson is the bestselling author of The Medici Effect. Raised in Sweden by his African American/Cherokee mother and Swedish father, he now speaks to audiences worldwide, from the boardrooms of America's largest corporations to villages in developing countries. He has founded a software start-up, a healthcare firm, a hedge fund, and the innovation firm the Medici Group. He lives in New York.
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Compare this with modern businesses such as the huge mobile phone market and you can see that the playing field can change almost instantly. A new innovative product such as the iPhone can change the rules almost overnight, (as Nokia found out to their cost).
And new ideas and products can come from almost anywhere - chance meetings at parties, watching a TV program, or even a dream. So in this ever changing marketplace it becomes incredibly important to spot trends and adapt business models. The growing list of failed UK high street big names is testament to the truth in that observation.
However, as Johansson points out, applying logic to identify trends is not a sure fire guarantee of success. What you need is luck. Once a random success has occurred then it becomes much easier to establish a brand and sustain success. The early mover phenomenon is powerful - just look at eBay. But how can we take advantage of random opportunities, how can we create them?
One way Johansson suggests is to look outside your own field of expertise. Often 'click moments' come from a previous unimagined crossover of two disciplines.
Also, he reiterates the (well worn) concept of 'be prepared to fail' - if you place many affordable bets exploring different ideas then you increase your chances of finding the profitable idea in amongst the duds.
The book is inspirational. Although my time to become a professional tennis player or chess champion may have passed I might still come up with that killer concept that might make a very successful business. Johansson reiterates advice given time and time again, if you have an idea then try it, the most important action is to 'do something'. It may be the wrong thing and will fail miserably but it gives you the opportunity to learn and also allows you to harness complex forces that may take your idea in unexpected and uniquely profitable directions.
In summary then, a good collection of informative and inspiring stories about unexpected successes both personal and corporate. I don't believe there is anything unique or original in here, but Johansson does a good job of pulling together advice on how you might increase your chances of realising a 'click moment'.
He encourages us to look at business opportunities with new eyes - an unconventional approach to die hard business practices. New rules for a new business world?
He talks about placing many small "purposeful bets" - rather than the traditional way of basing our business decisions on ROI calculations[return on investment] because we are now in a rapidly changing and unpredictable world where the `old ways' may no longer be so relevant. He suggests sometimes we have to take "affordable risks". So it is whole new set of rules. He emphasises how very exciting it is to be in business now, with limitless possibilities.
He gives loads of examples about how a lot of amazing business success stories [seemingly] came together by pure chance / serendipity /randomness. He also talks about the "10,000 hours" theory [which is great for something which has fixed rarely changing rules such as playing chess, tennis, a classical musical instrument etc] but explains with `the right openness to opportunity' incredible success can `just happen' without a lot of experience or training or knowledge, especially in areas where there are few fixed rules.
Example: Stephenie Meyer [author of the hugely successful Twilight vampire series] had a vivid dream one night, showing a scenario which she later built on to write her series of books. [Don't we all want to know what she puts in her night-time cocoa?!]. She has not written seriously before, didn't know anything about vampires and readily admits her writing is not especially good - she just wanted to tell a story. BUT she did actually write the book rather than let it linger in her head and she contacted 15 agents before she got someone to publish her books [so persistence etc also contributed to her success].
Johansson's main message is to get out there and "start executing " and that allows all sorts of complex forces and positive unanticipated circumstances to arise and then things `click' into place.
Worth a read.
The ideas in this book are interesting and fill in gaps in my understanding.
I don't find the story telling in the book as compelling as it might be. So 5 star for the ideas, 4 star overall.