Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Whack on the Side of the Head Wednesday: Get it on the Radar

At least once a week when I was working at Southern Methodist University (SMU), I uttered the words, "Let's get it on the radar and worry about improving it later." I did a lot of building while I was at SMU - lots of innovation.

Turns out, Edison ascribed to a similar philosophy when innovating. Rather than beginning with researchers steeped in academic principles and theory, Edison almost always conceived of an idea, sketched approaches and jumped right into building his prototype. According to Axelrod, author of Edison on Innovation, Edison counted on going back to observe, manipulate, and modify his prototype until it was spot on perfect.

Get it on the radar and improve the prototype later.

Two weeks ago, on this day, many of us were heavy in the middle of competing in Highlowaha's Triathlon. Triathletes generated 100 ways to have Ray's Shine campaign spread faster, further, and more furiously than the much anticipated Swine Flu.

Over 1000 creative ideas for making Shine an epidemic. That's what we generated.

I could wait for a marketing specialist to counsel me through academic principles including topics such as product viability, business plan development, market research, and securing venture capitalists or...

I could jump right, get something on the radar and improve on it later.

Below are five ideas that showed up on more than one of your submissions. Pick one and whack it. Sketch an approach for us. Flesh out the idea of your choice - who, what, where, when, why, and how. We'll get busy building your prototype. Six weeks and we'll have something on the radar. Then we can get busy improving it.

What will it be?
  • Develop a Ray calendar
  • Have Ray sponsor an event
  • Create a coloring book of Ray
  • Make Ray stickers to be widely distributed
  • Produce a Ray video for YouTube
Oh, and here's a look at what readers were trying to sketch in yesterday's Whego activity. Below it is also a peek at our readers' attempts...

Signing off until tomorrow...


cassie p said...

Develop a Ray calendar for 2010!

Each month has a picture of RAY doing whatever most represents that month- i.e. january=new year (we already have a ray pic for that one), feb.=valentines day, july= 4th of july, etc etc!!!

The trick is finding somewhere that will put them together inexpensively.

Robin said...

I'd say that one of the most practical and most likely effective would be a Ray video. We've already found the tools do it simply and easily from one of the competitions. That matched with the video skills of the HLA leadership it would be a breeze. As for the content, I'd delve into a bit about who we are, what we do and how SHINE and Ray work and why we want to take over the world. I'd be heavy on the photos of us in action, light on the words - drive them to here.

What would make Ray viral? Free Hugs from Ray? A Ray dancing session in an airport? Ray being a better singer than we thought possible?

Perhaps a challenge for forwarding it to friends?

maureen said...

I think people are gonna see more of ray if he is a video on youtube. My kids live on youtube and watch videos constantly. Then if we all send a link on our facebook page and send in email it could spread very fast.

One thing for sure if its really funny the better the chances of it being spread around.

Have a great day HLA

PS..... now that I look like I have the IQ of a doorknob no more drawings please LOL

Cheryl said...

a Phone???!!!??? I have to go back and read the directions again.

Regarding the 5 ideas to go viral... Calendar, Coloring book and stickers all require for a product to be produced and sold. Costs to produce with a risk of not selling the product. If we were made of money that would be great. Produce a 1,000,000 stickers and slap them up everywhere we go.

Sponsor an event... well, HLA is sponsoring an event at Taste of USA. It's the second annual. It's fun and you should come join us. Will Ray sponsoring an event help? I think overtime if we do a good job at the event it could help but I don't think it's something that will create Ray or HLA to go viral.

Which leaves us with a video. Cost to do... well, we already produce a weekly video of us around the table and the cost is the use of Heather's lovely little Flip camera. I think Flip should donate cameras to us so we can all make Shine videos. :) YouTube... Vimeo... it doesn't cost anything to upload. Email, facebook, myspace, blogs... this is where things go viral.

Now, what's in the video? That's the $1,000,000 question. The content is what will make something explode. Is it humor, or inspiration or what? Is it an animation of Ray? Is it real life people? Does Ray get a voice? There are many directions this can shoot off. The focus is Shine... So, do you?

Claudia said...

Well said, Cheryl.


Question. What does Shine mean to you?

Jessie said...

All the ideas are great - but can see RAY on a sticker with a catchy phrase and the website - that will get people asking questions and visiting! Wanting to know - what is that? We get them out and about everywhere then people will have to visit to see what it causing us to SHINE! But I think we also need to revisit the website tagline to ensure people truly understand what highlowaha is all about.
I think sponsoring an event within our communities would be fabulous, but would also cost money but we could market it as a fundraiser to donate to a cause worth Shinning for. The Taste of the USA is definite step in the right direction.
Video would be the easiest, but what will make it a sensation that get people talking? If it becomes a big enough sensation, it could send us to the Today show and get us press that way. But then I agree with Cheryl will it be funny, will RAY have a voice etc. What can we do that is catchy and creative to get people saying - this is great and I want in?

Heather said... about it, wanna come to Taste of USA???

Claudia said...

Jessie... you are ahead of the game. Our commmunity will be doing some hard core tag line work in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned, as we need your insights.

And yes... join us at Taste of USA. It'll be fun!

Peggy said...

Wow, my head doesn't feel so whacky today! I agree with Cheryl in so many ways... You have to spend money to make money. I'd be HAPPY to do layouts, sketch boards, bumper sticker ideas, calendars etc... so people can have visuals. But how much time should I invest in whacking an idea?

I think HLA has a lot of great ideas ... but ultimately if your goal is to SHINE... how much money do you have? (that's the un-shiney side of it)

Sorry I can't articulate this better... For example: on this blog those who particpate have fun with challenges, giving personal perspectives, offer RAK... they check back daily... how many community members actually do that... 10 regular? 20 lurkers? Why have you lost members in the past? And if you truly say you want 1,000,000 t-shirts by 2013 (not to be be Debbie Downer) but is that realistic or just something you are saying?

I love to make greeting cards... I have a 'faux company' which means I really don't have a company... but prdesigns sounds real! I create a real product, one of a kind creative greetings, for friends who deserve more than just a grocery store card, however... I don't mass produce products, I pay for everything (no sponsors or shareholders), I have no tax id (ssshhhh I don't submit to the IRS) my advertising is by word of mouth or my blog, I don't include overhead of my home's electric etc...I'm not in business to make a profit but I have been trying to incorparate my passion for art and the money I make goes back into materials. A party on a card to put a smile on someone's face.

And I say this in the nicest way I can, because sometimes the written word can be misunderstood... So, as this community, are you just whacking ideas for whacking sake... how much time and effort as a community member should I make to help HLA shine? (and someone will say, 'well, as much time as you want to') Touche'.

Cheryl said...

As much as you want to, Peggy. ha ha ha! :)

So, how do you feel about this scenario: Readers and lurkers and such put forth their ideas of making Ray go viral and that happens. Ray is huge. He's on Ellen, OpRAYh, the Today Show, and Regis & Kelly. And part of that is that you, Loyal Reader and your product gets attention. Is that something you would welcome or something you would shy away from?

At this point I'm not sure you need to put forth the effort of drawing and sketching and that type of stuff but as your making your cards, doing the laundry, surfing the internet- if while you're doing those things in your life that you normally do you put Ray in your thoughts, see if you come up with something for him and for us and if you do come back and tell us.

We know life is busy and your input is valuable to us. :)

Jessie said...

I might get kicked out for this...I have heard a lot about the Taste of the USA, but I don't know much about it. Where can I get more information??
Depends on the timing, I know it's in Louisville. I will be in Indy helping Amber with the arrival of her 3rd for about 15 days, but I do have to work in there as well.
More info please???

Heather said...

It is September 12th in Louisville only one day and is a Saturday! Perhaps a day trip down from Indy?

All the details are at the Taste of USA site which can be found by clicking the link on the right hand column that says Taste of USA.

It would be AWESOME to see you!

Cheryl said...

That's it, Jessie! You're out! HA HA HA!

As Heather has mentioned you can click on the Taste of USA link and there is a post up with all the info. The more the merrier!

Last year we went to Philadelphia, PA in September just as hurricane Hannah was making landfall and we were caught in a lot of rain during the lunch break. We did a lot of fun things and get to know you's including feasting on cupcakes (Thanks Tera) and Philly Cheese Steaks... they were good! We had some of the funniest waitresses ever! The lady at the Philly Cheese Steak place scolded Treye and it was completely her fault. The lady that waited on us for dinner was hilariously short with us. We were not to waste any time placing our order or ask any questions!!! The whole day was so much fun and a real positive experience. I expect this year to be even better. So come on, Jessie!!

Jessie said...

Thanks for the info, unfortunately that is the day after Amber's c-section and I will have her 2 kids and a houseful of people at Ambers. Darn it! If for some reason things change, I will definitely make the trip!
Thanks for not kicking me out :)

Cheryl said...

Oh, Amber will be fine! She can go home that day. C-section, Schmee-Section. :) That baby is coming earlier than that. I can just feel it! Boy or girl?

Okay, you have a good excuse. Who else?

So, we have Taste of USA on the Radar... can we get Ray on the Radar? RAYdar. ha.

Claudia said...

Kudos to Jessie for trusting our community enough to admit she didn't know what Taste of USA was.

We wish you could attend, but we'll take early reservation for next year. Where will it be? you, the people, decide.

Chaotic said...

ok...sorry so late to get here today.. you don't wanna know...

Like Peggy, I too, create a product. Except I DO pay quarterly taxes and all that as "cards by chaotic". I do mixed media & paper art because 1)I love paper and 2) I love letting people know they are being thought of. Selling them is my way of trying to support my paper habit.

So for me, I go to the paper ideas. I formatted a sheet of 8.5x11 sticker paper so I got 20 stickers of Ray with the "Fall in love with a new idea" and on them & I am sticking them in odd places.

A calendar is lovely, but I ahve so many already every year that I don't use....

my 2 cents... to bed...