It was January 15, a mere 16 days ago that Captain Sully Sullenberger and his co-captain, Jeff Skiles, successfully avoided a major disaster and saved 155 lives by making an emergency landing on the Hudson River after a flock of birds wrecked both engines of the US Airways jet they were flying. Already, there’s an online video game, Heroes of the Hudson, which simulates the flight, only with you as the pilot.
Comments regarding the reality and difficulty of the game have been mixed, but the developers of this game probably couldn’t a flip about what the critics are saying … because they were the first to hit the market with the product - and in the world of marketing, usually, first is best. Undoubtedly, there will be similar games but, by that time, they’ll have already cashed in. Just being first has gotten them a ton of free publicity (the story seems to be on nearly every station - network or cable - that reports the news).
There are people out there whose minds go in different directions than the norm, e.g. upon hearing the news of a near crash of a plane carrying 155 people, most folks would stop what they were doing, many to silently offer a prayer of thanks, while others might try to find out more about the too-close-to-comfort escape. Still others (probably a small minority of the population) would immediately have their brains tuned in to “How can I/we make some quick dough off of this story?” So, while most of the country’s residents have the feeling, “There but for the grace of God, go I,” for others, who value the almighty dollar, it’s a business opportunity.
Some people may tell you they can’t help it, that they’ve always been a business person, their parents were business people and they got the dominant gene - that’s simply the way their mind works. In a situation such as the near fatal plane crash, the “business” idea will flash into their head, but they can, after years of work, dismiss it and look at what just happened from a more humane point of view. However, they don’t want to give up that “skill” of immediately looking at everything as a marketing ploy, quite possibly because they’ve carved out a comfortable living for themselves, relying on this ability.
The direction your mind takes usually comes from your value system. Are you in the business of selling? If so, an oversimplification of selling is solving your potential customers’ problems. Should you be truly serious about your work, i.e. if you absolutely love what you do, you’ll program your mind to be on the lookout for potential solutions to those problems. After college, I went into the field of teaching. One reason was that I liked it and was good at it. In college, I noticed I had the ability to explain math to my teammates on the football who weren’t good at math (the majority of the population it seemed - and seems to this day). If someone was bordering on losing their eligibility, due to their math class, I’d be there, knowing it would help the team win - and, just in case, you were starting to confuse me with Mother Teresa, I knew somewhere down the line, I might need this teammate’s help - an area where he was strong and I was weak (which was pretty much most everything besides math).
Then, I moved into coaching basketball on the college level, another area I liked and had experienced some success doing. When I’d see an article (anywhere) on the school where I was employed at the time, my first thought was, “Will this be a good recruiting mailout?” If a kid we were recruiting liked something in particular - from a hobby he mentioned in a phone call we had - see the story on page 27 of my book, Life’s A Joke, for those of you who have a copy (for those who don’t, you can order one, but you’d better hurry - I’m down to my last 800 copies) to a specific pro team of which he was a big fan (regardless of the sport) and I saw that team just pulled off a major upset, the first thought I had was to call him, knowing I’d get him in a good mood. Following my offering congrats, we could talk about the merits of my place of employment. In life, timing is everything.
Recently, an artist friend of mine and I got into the business of producing unique baby gifts (my idea, his expertise) and now, whenever I hear of a pregnancy of a co-worker or someone I know, my first thought is, “Who would be a good person to call, text or email about buying this lady one of our baby gifts?” To see more about our new venture, click on the link that can be found on this website’s Home Page or after clicking “Jack’s Blog.”
It’s all about your passion and filling a need. The developers of the simulated Hudson River landing game knew, in this country, many products can be sold if you can fill the need before the excitement of whatever it is you’re selling fades away. Whether what they’re doing is tasteful, or has a high quality rating isn’t as necessary as speed to market. My partner and I feel good about what we’re selling because we’ve never had any thing but rave reviews - from both the person who gave the gift and the person who received it - because they’re a one-of-a-kind present and something that’s professionally done that will last for years - if not forever. Allan Cox figured all this out when he made the following statement about each person’s “purpose” in life:
“Values are the guiding devices to enhance our ability to achieve our purposes.”