#119 - I Was Wrong? Don't Disrupt
The Sprinkler Nerd ShowMay 19, 202312:4811.7 MB

#119 - I Was Wrong? Don't Disrupt

William Gibson famously observed. The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed.

If you are an irrigation professional, old or new, who designs, installs or maintains high end residential, commercial, or municipal properties, And you want to use technology to improve your business, to get a leg up on your competition, even if you're an old school irrigator from the days of hydraulic systems, this show is for you.

This is Andy. Welcome back to the Sprinkler Nerd Show. This is episode one 19 and it's gonna be a kind of brief episode, but I'm actually excited to share what I've been thinking about the last couple days because I think I may have been wrong about something. Well, Maybe not wrong. I, I just may have changed my mind on something again based on new information.

So if you've been listening to this podcast, you know that I love to question what I think I know and I love to hear. Maybe not other opinions, let's say. Well, sure you could say other opinions, but I love to look at different angles on things. And I want you to, if you haven't listened to episode 90, I want you to lip listen to episode 90 because it's about, My thoughts on becoming a pioneer and in episode 90 I talked about how I used to think that being a pioneer was the goal as an entrepreneur.

The goal of an entrepreneur is to pioneer new territory, right? Go out there and pioneer something. And I heard a quote from Howard Schultz, who's the former, well, he may still be the ceo, the founder of Starbucks. And I talked about how Howard said he would not choose to be a pioneer. He would rather disrupt something.

And I'm gonna play that quote for you. And my thoughts are back in episode 90. So take a listen to episode 90 and I will play the quote from Howard here in just a moment. But earlier this week I heard. A quote on the very same topic that totally contradict or countered what Howard Schultz was talking about.

And uh, this person, Jim McKelvey, who was the, he co-founded Square. Uh, which I'm sure you guys know about, it's the card, you know, the little card swiper that, uh, can attach to a smartphone. He co-founded Square with Jack Dorsey, I don't know, way back in like 2006, and he wrote this book called The Innovation Stack.

And if you are, Well, I, I'd say anybody would enjoy this book, but particularly if you are an entrepreneur and you were building a company, could be a service company, contracting company, could be software company. It could be product company. Really any company. This book, the innovation stack is phenomenal and.

Jim McKelvey count contradicts what Howard was talking about, and Jim says that you don't ever disrupt, you don't want to disrupt the market. And so what I wanted to do today was play both of these quotes and kind of share that. I think I might have been wrong, or I'm still not sure, or maybe it depends.

Maybe you could pioneer something, maybe you could disrupt something. Maybe there's another variable at play that makes both of these people right. So the first thing I want to do right now is play the quote from Howard Schultz on why you should not be a pioneer and instead be a disruptor. There's always this question about what's the best road to take?

Uh, should I disrupt the category? Or should I create a new one? I would say on balance. I generally don't want to be in the pioneering business. And by that I mean it's so hard to change consumer behavior. It takes a long time, a lot of resources. And unless you have the most compelling story, idea and form factor and platform, uh, and I think.

Are willing to run the long race of losing money, which is fine. Uh, I think the easier route is to disrupt a category that already exists. Uh, but there's an opportunity cuz the large companies feel as if they're entitled to it. And I love that opportunity. Where the entrepreneur can be disruptive, much more innovative than anyone else.

Excellent. I hope you liked that. I hope it made sense. It probably did make sense. Now I'm gonna play the quote from Jim, which I heard just a couple days ago from the book, the Innovation Stack. If you like to listen to your books, like you listen to a podcast, go on Audible, download this book. It's so good.

And the, the premise of the book, I'll just share it with you real quick, is that a company becomes, Let's say defensible and significant based on not one feature or one thing, but an entire stack of innovations that the company develops. And he uses great examples like Southwest Airlines that figured out how they could charge a rate at half the market.

But in order to do that, They had to turn the plane around in 10 minutes, right? And so sometimes when you want to do something, you gotta figure out how to do something else entirely. And that that stack, that compound of innovations is called an innovation stack. And that stack of innovations is what is becomes really valuable over time.

So when they started Square, there was just one innovation after another, after another, after another. That kept getting unlocked as they went to build the company, and that innovation stack is what allowed them to compete against Amazon. And Amazon rolled out a card reader shortly after they did that could certainly have put them outta business, but Amazon didn't realize all the pieces of the puzzle or all the pieces of the innovation stack that was going to be required in order to do what Square had already.

Done. So I wanna share with you this quote from Jim so that you can see how it compares to what Howard just said about he'd rather be a disruptor. And what Jim says is the opposite of that. So I think this is fascinating and I hope you enjoy this Next quote, is disruption bad? Not by itself, but disruption has also never been the focus of good entrepreneurs.

The entrepreneurs profiled in this book set out to build and not destroy. To focus on disruption is to look over one's shoulder into the past. But if you are trying to solve a perfect problem or expand a market, shouldn't you study that industry? No, you look at your customers, or I should say your potential customers for they do not even know your product or service is possible.

William Gibson famously observed The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed. Unfair as this situation sounds, Gibson's words contain a hopeful promise while only a few of us enjoy the latest cool thing. Eventually, the future will deliver it to us all. Who will make that delivery?

Entrepreneurs distribute that future. The companies they build are not disruptors. They are market expanders for the people waiting for their slice of the future. If disruption occurs, it is merely a side effect. The focus of the entrepreneur is the people who cannot get a loan or travel or furnish their home or get paid.

The focus of the entrepreneur is on the horizon beyond the wall. If we glance at the system, it is neither to copy it nor to destroy it, but simply to see how much more can be done. Holy cow. Did you guys not just hear what I heard? I'm going to read this again probably in my own words in just a moment because I also took some notes.

But like I have, is it weird to say that I almost have like goosebumps or chills listening to that? It's much more compelling than, uh, than Howard's quote about being a disruptor. And I love how these, they don't really contradict each other and they might be coming from two different vantage points. So my sort of, my thought here today is not to say one is wrong or ru one is right, but to have you think.

And to sort of portray or relay this information that, that I came across because I think it's super powerful. And just listening to the final part of that quote gave me kind of chills, honestly. Like the, the final quote there says, it is, this is crazy. If we glance at the system, it is neither to copy nor destroy it, but simply to see how much more can be done.

Like that alone. Simply see how much more can be done. That's the goal. That's what entrepreneurs do. That's what you guys are probably doing in your own day, and if you're not, let's take a chance on it. See how much more could be. Done. And there's a, there's a middle part here that I really like also, and that is that, you know, essentially the entrepreneur's job is to distribute the future.

Okay? So they start out by saying, well, only a few of us enjoy the latest cool thing. Eventually the future will deliver it to us All. Question then becomes who will make the delivery? Entrepreneurs distribute that future. The companies they build are not disruptors. Let me read that again. The companies they build are not disruptors.

Take that. Howard Companies they build are not disruptors. They are market expanders for the people waiting for their slice of the future. I love that because it talks about the people, the customer. That's the most important thing, waiting for the customer, for the people waiting for their slice of the future.

If disruption occurs, and this is key, it is merely a side effect. Disrupting was not the goal, it was just the side effect. Because the focus of the entrepreneur is on the people, the people that want it, the customer, the focus of the entrepreneur is on the horizon beyond. The wall man, that just gives me shivers.

It's like, yeah, behind the wall. It's like as soon as you get somewhere, don't put a wall up. Let's go more. Let's go bigger. Let's figure this out. Let's see what could happen next beyond the wall. And that makes me think I should re-watch that kid's movie over the hedge. What? Hedge, what wall? It's why I can't stand the quote.

You know, think outside the box because a true entrepreneur doesn't see a box. There is no box. Somebody had to say there was a box for there to be a box, but what if there was no damn box? So that's it. That's all I had today guys. I just wanted you to kind of see that I am on a daily basis, I think about what I think I know and try to understand and learn more.

And back Last fall, episode number 90. I thought that disruption would be the better choice because I heard it from Howard s Schulz, and maybe he meant it through a different lens. I don't know. But now I think disruption is the byproduct. After, after listening to Jim. I think disruption is the byproduct and I think it's just at the end of the day fun to, fun to think all of these things and to see it and then to, you know, use that thought that you're maybe having right now and put it into perspective in our industry.

How do the major brands, the major companies, from products to services, to software to contractors, how do they think. Right. How are they growing their business? And if you are one of them starting up, how can you position yourself with great technology, great people, a great innovation stack focused on what the customer wants and uh, yeah.

That's what I have this week. Guys, thank you so much for listening. I appreciate all of you guys and uh, we'll catch you on the next episode. Happy sprinkling.