The world needs creatives and the world needs doers, but most importantly the world needs creative doers.
When I first ventured into business, I was incredibly creative and I based my entire shoe company on the ignorance is bliss technique. The ignorance gave me the leverage to be extremely creative and design completely unique shoes, however, it also blind sided the financial and practical requirements to produce such unique shoes.
The experience taught me about barriers that are often faced when you need to find the balance between your creativity and your practicality. I learnt quickly about the sacrifices that are needed to be taken to attain that balance and developed an insight into the gruelling world of luxury fashion ‘startups’.
To create completely new creations and custom pieces it costs thousands and thousands to simply prototype. Once you have those prototypes you need to produce collections, increase your production rate and still balance the practical side of things so you can financially support your business.
If I hadn’t taken this personalised approach to my collections, I could have gone to material shops, attended manufacture exhibitions and choose items for each season that were proven to be on trend and create a unique juxtaposition through mixing fabrics and textures. They would have cost 1/10th of the price to produce and 1/10th of the headache and speed to produce.
Through this experience, I learnt that even when it is precious to maintain creativity and imagination, sometimes it’s not practical. Sacrifice is crucial and this is something that can be very hard for founders; they are optimists, they believe anything is possible and want it to happen quickly but patience is a virtue. It’s crucial to be able to understand and predict the path to reaching your desirable; this skill is critical and not something that is simply attained overnight.
I’ve learnt that one of my greatest skills is foresee, understand and predict where businesses could evolve and then construct an in depth and agile pathway to ensure that they reach their desired outcome. This is where being a practical founder becomes the foundation of a company that wants to innovate; it’s about finding a balance between practicality and creativity, developing a foundation and pathway whilst still being open to take risks and experimenting with future possibilities.
We’ve applied this concept to a program that we will be running with high school students.
You already know my thoughts about the current schooling system and how important I believe practicality and relevance is for the current and future industries and work environments.
Post Courier Mail article; I was contacted by a heap of schools asking for coffees to discuss what may be possible. I went and met each of the principals or representatives and figured we should put together a program that teaches kids to join the Thunder Lizards.
Find a a problem, develop a solution, create your product and take over the world.
Australia’s first real life entrepreneurs high-school program brought to you by entrepreneurs.
As this idea developed, I sat down and thought about what kids attention spans would be like and asked the principles what they think the kids or the schools may be able to pay to do such a course. It was decided we could get the kids to find a problem, create a solution and then build a product, digitally or physically, through a partnership with a hackerspace and a digital group. These would then be hosted on a free website and advertised through Facebook to generate pre-registrations and early validation.
The focus of this program would be on inspiring the kids to dream big and start quick which is where Thunder Lizards evolved.
Inspire the children and show them that an idea that has potential has the ability to take over the world; it’s not a small idea, it’s a visionary idea.
A thunder lizard takes over the class room, then the suburb, city, country and then the world. Thunder Lizards are high risk, high reward and highly impactful.
We sat down and mapped out the 8 week program step by step, created an excel sheet that mapped out our facilitators, the cost of products and our margin could be by reverse engineering the budget that the schools expressed was possible.
Our designer created documents to present to the schools and then we started the hustle. All in all, it took 4 meetings with principles, 2 hours to map out what we would need to put into the course, 2 phone calls to our hackers and digital groups for agreements, the delegation of graphic work and an hour to map out the costings.
Approximately 9 hours our my time to produce an Australian first idea that will test be tested next week!