I find it real interesting how some people take offense to hearing the truth. If what is said is the truth it should not be offensive. The truth should be what everybody wants to hear.
However, when it comes to business or personal creations like internet web-sites and online businesses, people get really upset when someone points out flaws in their business plan or thought patterns.
Then, you have the generational thing. I will not get off into the cultural differences that have developed since the early 80’s between the Onliners and Offliners. It is sufficed to say the younger generation has a hard time getting over some of the things they felt were hardening during their parents’ attempts to set them on the right track.
Most of the creators of some of the stuff that is launched online today are craftily developed by young men and women in their early 20’s. In most cases their endeavors are outstanding. Most of the tools businesses use online are created by these young business people. With that said, there are some of them who are clearly missing how business operations work online or offline.
Recently, during my surfing of the internet for sites offering marketing services to other businesses I ran across several newly launched sites that have some very creative approaches of doing something someone else already launched. This is truly the way online businesses improve upon themselves by seeing what someone else has done and improve upon it.
What happens is these sites lose touch with what the business purpose is or what the site offers to help businesses meet their goals. They get caught up in producing a slick visually pleasing site which is needed in the move to the WEB 2.0 standards, but once pass their homepage what they offer is voided with seemingly incomplete delivery of the service they say they are providing. There is a fundamental absence of any business operations in some of these sites.
The challenge recently is providing these young startup business creators with positive and constructive advice. They see any attempt to help or provide experience from anyone outside of Silicon Valley as an insult. Comments or suggestions for improvements are considered negatives. Questions on direction of their business plan as not needed.
Some of the developers of these new business ventures feel their advanced educations justifies the way they are going about doing business as the only way to go about doing business. Some even feel their short experience of being part of another startup sets their business plan on solid ground. All of them are attempts to falsely rationalize the fact they do not know what the heck they are doing.
Colleges for the past 25 years are pushing out graduates with degrees full of teaching of business cases full of words but no practical applications to what really goes on in the business world. This rush to keep the schools of higher learning financially sound has built at least two generations of dreamers who were taught how to build businesses on paper, but not on concrete or from experience.
The result, the youngsters hit the streets or the internet in this case, with lots of knowledge on the concept of building a business but absolutely no experience in actually how to do business. They feel their MBA’s and Doctorate will be all they need to overcome their business operation needs.
The challenge then becomes how the business consumer will deal with these new online line businesses and their attitude towards the past. How will they develop a trust that the slick looking site will deliver what its homepage is saying it will deliver?
Hopefully, these new sites and businesses developed by the younger generation will some come to realize that people who come from their parent’s generation, or grandparents’ generation, are not out to get them, or run them into the ground, or discipline them for what they are trying to accomplish. They need to get over whatever hang ups they have had in their past that has resulted in them being callous to critique and start viewing the people over 30 as a resource that will save them value time and money.
Telling someone the truth and providing a truthful evaluation should not be taken as offensive. It is what is commonly known in the business arena as Help. Help comes in all ages and challenges can only be met with help.
Let me know how I can help.