Inspiration and perspiration

Edison went through many thousands of versions of the electric light globe, literally, before finding one that worked and could be mass produced.


Photo credit: Richard Warren Lipack / Wikimedia Commons.

It is these thousands of iterations that led to his famous observation that success is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.

The one percent inspiration is critical, though. Without an idea that drives us forward, we would never keep going through the endless repetition of trial and error that builds success.

It is that inspiration that builds staff and customer loyalty and that gives your brand meaning.

Many branding tools, discussions and seminars, including Simon Sinek’s famous Why Ted Talk, emphasise the importance of passion in building your unique brand identifier.

But inspiration has another, deeper significance for business in tough times.

Nearly all businesses, and business models, have a reasonable chance of succeeding when the economy is booming, but we need something special when the going gets rough. The customer and staff loyalty, and their willingness to pay for our unique value, is an important ingredient in the recipe for survival.

The challenge in tough times is to find that competitive edge that allows us to thrive while others are struggling. Some businesses become more aggressive, use their market position to dominate their competitors, or their global reach to drive down costs. These strategies are exploitative. In the current global economic climate, these strategies exacerbate the problems we all face, not ameliorate them.

The premise of Great Notion is that innovation and inspiration provide a non-exploitative differentiator and allow us to build stronger, long lasting relationships with our stakeholders. We can expand by exploiting others, or we can outcompete them by being better, and being better in this context usually means being smarter.

Putting your inspiration at the core of all your business practice, or identifying the inspiration that belongs at the heart of your business practice allows you to build value, based on your values, rather than on exploiting your customers, staff or suppliers.

That is the way to build thriving, viable, sustainable business. Now, that’s a great notion.

Qld to break Greenwash barrier

Minister Enoch argued recently to increase the levy on dumping waste in landfill

Launching the Circular Economy Lab in Fortitude Valley yesterday evening, the Minister for Arts, Science and Environment, Leeanne Enoch, said that Queensland has committed $150,000 to the lab as part of its commitment to protect the natural assets of the State, such as the Great Barrier Reef.

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Recycling is just rubbish

In the light of last month’s detailed analysis of the shortcomings of plastic recycling that ran in The Conservation: we decided to reprint this article from Geoff Ebbs’ 2007 book – Sydney’s Guide to Saving the Planet.

Statistics have not been updated and refer to 2007. Shockingly, most of these numbers are worse today than they were 12 years ago.

The business of waste

Our major metropolitan areas are running short of landfill and it is being transported increasing distances. Sydney ships around 400,000 tonnes of waste to Woodlawn, near Canberra, every year. Domestic waste makes up around 30 per cent of the total waste produced  with more than 40 percent of that waste goes to land fill. The vast majority of domestic waste is still dumped.

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SnöApe emodies Great Notion thinking

Snoape logo

Snöape’s founder, Benjamin Monteiro, studies business and marketing with Great Notion founder, Geoff Ebbs, at Griffith University. Launched in February 2019, Snöape is based on the business model developed with Geoff and embodies the Great Notion approach.

Ben decided to create a business in the way that he believes a business should be run.  Ben strives to operate his company with an altruistic approach; where the environment, his employees, and his customers are put first before profits. He is proud to own a business that cares about the quality of his products, from the materials used right down to the impact that they have on the earth.  He wants to create a better world; a world where products are not just made for the profiteering of companies, but a place where decisions are thoroughly thought-out, as every action has a consequence.