Apple's Best Product (Hint: It's not a phone or a watch)

Also, unpopular ideas aren't always bad, great ideas can be, psychological ownership, and social media lessons

  • Did you hear?  Apple released new iPhones!  While they may argue that they are Apple's best products ever, Michael Grothaus disagrees.  He argues that Apple's best product is now privacy.  In a world where most technology companies make their money by selling your data to advertisers (looking at you Google and Facebook), "Apple makes its hundreds of billions every year by selling physical products that have a high markup."  The result?  Apple can take steps to protect your privacy that other internet giants simply can't!

  • Want to build a loyal customer base? When customers have a sense of psychological ownership for your product, they become loyal fans who repeatedly buy and promote what you are selling.  They feel so invested in your product that it becomes an extension of themselves.  Here are three strategies that you can use to cultivate customers' psychological ownership of your product: 1) involve your customers in designing your product, 2) customize your product for them, 3) create opportunities for your customers to know every facet of your product so that they develop a sense of having a special, unique relationship with it.  Be careful though.  Once your customers have psychological ownership, changes you make in your product can backfire. Read this article for some great examples of companies who developed psychological ownership and those who had it come back to bite them.

  • Have you ever believed something that was counter to what you most people believed?  You just knew it in your gut and it turned out you were right?  Airbnb, Rent the Runway and Foursquare all began as ideas that no one believed would work.  According to contrarian investor Peter Thiel, the most powerful business innovation question you can ask yourself or someone else for that matter is, "What important truth do very few people agree with you on?"  Learn how the answer to this question can drive business innovation in this short article by Scott Belsky, CPO at Adobe.

  • On the other hand, "A good idea before it's time can be a deadly trap sucking pioneers resources and wasting time fertilizing the ground for settlers to come in later to flourish."  Here are stories about seven internet related start-ups that had amazing ideas and failed. While the pioneer businesses went down, the original ideas persisted and now underlie many of the platforms we use on a daily basis.  Since then, many of these seven founders have gone on to leadership in successful ventures.

  • Are you an entrepreneur or someone with entrepreneurial aspirations?  Successful entrepreneurs have some key strengths in common which most people can achieve through intentional practice. From Dhaval Patel, here are some important ones to consider in your life as an entrepreneur.  Can you make lemons out of lemonade? Successful entrepreneurs find opportunity in obstacles.  Do you strive continually to improve?  Successful entrepreneurs are always thinking of ways to improve, in how they work personally or how their business works.  Do you find yourself immobilized by fear of uncertainty?  Successful entrepreneurs know how to pursue their goals in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity.  Do you practice generosity? Successful entrepreneurs develop good business karma by helping others succeed.

  • Organic reach is ever harder to achieve on social media.  Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pintrest, and so on all increasingly require companies to pay to reach their users.  How can you get the most organic reach possible?  Take a lesson from an industry that is prohibited from advertising on most social media platforms: the cannabis industry.  Making use of influencers, video, brand ambassadors, and multiple social media platforms can all boost your organic reach, getting you more exposure for less money.