No More Average Products for Average People

Inspired by Seth Godin – Craft and Commerce

I was so happy to hear Seth Godin say that our current scheme creates average products for average people; the result is commoditization because people then look for the closest and cheapest. This supports my idea that people should create product offerings that reflect their unique perspective on the problem. Why? The reason that people tend to compromise their vision is because they think that they are being “realistic.” They are trying to “give the market what it wants.” That’s fine if you have a niche already defined that you can actually ask, but what I see mostly is people sitting around a conference room table introducing imaginary problems and then watering down their vision.

Actually, I feel like I have a conference table in my head. Inspiration delivers a fun, exciting idea and the cast of characters in my head crowds into the conference room, eager to protect me from embarrassing myself. Geez I should fire these folks! I keep telling them that my goal is to act on my creative inspirations but most of them have been around since I was a teenager and they really think the whole job is to keep me from being criticized!

Here’s me taking my own advice. I want to lead a fitness class…in tap shoes. Yes, in tap shoes. I was inspired by a couple of comments I heard from the judges on World of Dance. Derek Hough and Jenna Dewan both said how much they loved and missed tap dancing. Well, me too! But I want to run my class like a Zumba class instead of a typical tap class where you learn one dance over the course of 8 weeks, adding a little each week. In a Zumba class, you don’t “learn” one dance routine. In Zumba, you follow the instructor through 8-10 routines each week. And if people want me to break down the steps, I want to do it after — instead of before– because I think the language describing dance steps can be more confusing than helpful. I want to show people that they can have fun and get the benefits of exercise just by following along. Furthermore, I want to choreograph to the music that moves me and most of that has never been tap danced to before.

My imaginary staff says things like. “That’s different than what people would expect. You should make it like other people’s classes.” “What if people don’t want to tap dance? You should stick to Zumba.” “Some of the people will be older and they won’t like your music. You should ask what music they want.” So if I follow their advice, I’d either teach tap classes like everyone else does or teach Zumba, and there are already thousands of great Zumba teachers. Neither of those options sound fun to me and already I feel like giving up. But Seth Godin to the rescue (trumpets blare): Average products for average people won’t cut it! Even if I was capable of making myself pursue teaching the class the way my “Keep it Safe” committee thinks, I’d automatically be competing with all the other tap and Zumba classes that are already out there! No thanks!