Constraints are your friend

You’ve probably never heard of Rodney Mullen, but he basically invented modern freestyle skateboarding. The tricks you see with kids flipping their boards with their feet – it mostly came from him.

But here’s the really cool bit about Rodney’s story as he tells it:

“I learned to skate in our garage. We lived in the country in Florida, it was sort of farmish, and there was no cement anywhere else. Vert skating was the kind of skating that was done in pools, where you could get airborne and be weightless. The other style, which is what I did, was called free style, which was tricks you could do on flat ground.”

How cool is that…. he literally had nowhere to skateboard. There was no concrete to ride and glide along, so he used the little square space of his garage to learn. And he did what his small space allowed. Cool little flips and tricks you can see in this video. It was what he didn’t have – space to skate – that helped him invent something entirely new. New solutions and new interpretations of skateboarding based on constraints.

While it’s easy for entrepreneurs to think that limited resources thwart possibilities, they are actually what we need to create something amazing.

You should totally read my book – The Great Fragmentation.

I'm in love with Shwood

I saw this video below and fell in love with all of it. Every single P. Of the 4P’s that is…

The Product: So cool. Who doesn’t want something hand made, that has a story, that looks uber cool, and is recycled?

The Price: I almost don’t care, so long as it wasn’t more than what I would expect to pay for this product, then it is fine. Really. In fact, I’d probably pay a little more.

The Place: I hate shopping. I like ordering over the web and not have to go find a car park, pay for parking, deal with condescending retail worker fashionistas. In fact, I’m not even sure how these will look on my head. But I figure because they are so cool, I’ll feel cool and they’ll automatically look cool on me. (hey, I’m not pretending sunglasses are not a fashion accessory)

The Promotion: Well let’s put it this way. All I have ever seen is the video below. No one has ever spoken to me about this brand or product. In fact it is my first exposure to it. I loved the film, the light and most of all the story. It was beautiful to watch. I have already placed an order over the web. I found out via a tweet that someone sent. (By the way over 10 million tweets a day are about brands). That was all it took.

And now I’m in, part of the brand and spreading the word. This is how startups gain traction. Making cool stuff and embracing new methods to go to market.