You’ve all heard of Antonio Meucci, the Italian immigrant who invented the telephone 26 years before Alexander Graham Bell. Matter of fact, it was Meucci’s design Bell used to obtain the patent for the phone.
You may be interested to know Bell offered his invention to Western Union for $100,000. They wouldn’t return his phone calls. Bell bought Western Union a few years later.
We all know Dick Rowe and Mike Smith who discovered Brian Poole and the Tremoloes (not quite the same band who would have one hit in the late ‘60s- "Here Comes My Baby" - done from memory). Rowe and Smith selected the group over another British band they felt would never make it; turning them down for Decca Records. You’ve probably never heard of that band, the Beatles.
I was at a Phoenix mall today celebrating its 30th year. The place was empty at prime shopping time on a Sunday. The owners are tearing down a section to build a Costco, the death knoll for a mall. The mall has a vacancy rate near 50 percent. Twice I have offered expertise on helping this organization – once when they only had a 25 percent, not 50, vacancy rate. They won’t return letters or phone calls. Call them the Meucci or Dick Rowe of today.
You wonder why we are in a depression? I’ve said it before, businesses are run by idiots. I have told the story here about offering the MySpace and YouTube ideas to 10 companies in early 2007 only to have them run to agencies promising press releases. Wonder how many of those 10 are still in business? There is little creative thinking in business today.
Had a similar event this past week. A non-profit refused credentials to a major event because I’m only in the top-20 percent of all blogs (per Technorati). Five years ago they probably turned down TMZ and Perez Hilton. Of course, it was one of those PR firms offering press releases mentioned above doing the credentialing. Again, stupid business decision. Made by a person who’s had her degree all of two years.
Even the granddaughter of Bank of America founder Amadeo Giannini says those running her Grandfather’s business are idiots. Click here to see video.
That’s why doing the creative thinking exercises on this blog are important.