I am writing this post for all of you, especially my marketing colleagues. If you want to start your own business, but you don’t know what you want to do then “scratch your own itch”. This means that you should set up a business that delivers something that you yourself need and want – and sometimes can’t find.
Sometimes it’s more simple than you think – and I have to admit, it took me a long time to arrive at it, and even then, only when I had decided to stop work, sit back and enjoy the view. I love my daily view of the Pyrenees in SW France, but this gave me some thinking time and it got me itchy, so I am sharing two very personal examples of how to scratch your own itch.
The first is what I am doing right now! I founded Read The Room Events after a long career in marketing. Now I deliver “behind the scenes” B2B event projects for Marketing Leaders & Marketing Teams who have the kind of life I used to have. I was always juggling, never enough hands on deck, doing everything myself, filling all the gaps, doing stuff on a shoestring – you’ve all heard and lived this story! Read The Room Events delivers event support from sales events to industry roundtables, from customer events to conferences, planning and execution, including PR, Comms and Lead Gen that puts ROI at the centre.
Now that everyone knows what the IoT is, the second example will resonate.
I was walking my dogs in the forest in 2008, and one of them went missing. It was a big forest. It wasn’t the first time he’d disappeared. I called for an hour, but still no dog appeared.
I decided that what I really needed was some sort of “tracker” so that I could trace him. It occurred to me that if he’d had a tracking collar that would fix the problem (you know, the type they put on wild animals). But a tracking collar is a) expensive b) too heavy for daily wear c) unavailable in a consumer/domestic pet market. There’s also another problem with this since a lot of dogs go missing because they’ve been deliberately targetted and stolen. If someone is going to steal a dog then they’ll just remove the tracker collar anyway, so that idea wasn’t viable.
Then I had another idea. What if someone invented a microchip that was placed under the skin of the dog – like the identity chips that cats and dogs have? Except the chips are dumb in these cases; they simply hold information. No, what I needed was a chip that gave out a signal so that the animal could be traced. It seemed like it would solve my daily disappearing dog problem. I got really excited about it for a time, and did a lot of research on it. At that time, back in 2008 the Internet of Things (IoT) was a dream – and I didn’t realise that the answer to my itch at the time was what would come to be known as the IoT. This service was launched, among others, in 2016 by Tractive, an Austrian based developer of apps, hardware and gadgets, using an Orange Business Services IoT solution which embeds SIMS in pets.
So, to all you entrepreneurs, marketers or corporate slaves out there – go “scratch your own itch”!