I recently watched a TED talk by Derek Sivers about how to start a movement. He plays a video in the background as he starts his talk. It starts with 1 crazy guy in a field at what I assume is a music festival. He has his shirt off, no shoes and is “dancing like no one is watching”. You can see everyone wondering what the hell is going on and why he is not in a mental institution.
Then after a long while it all changes, one person joins him in the madness. Shortly after a 2nd joins. Before long, the stream of people joining the lone dancing guy is so big; you actually can’t see him anymore!
This talk and video was enlightening for many reasons. For one, it has helped to explain the exponential growth effect and how it comes about. The other is that it really hit home for me. For quite a while, we were feeling like the lone crazy guy dancing in the field, while everyone looked on like we were absolutely nuts.
After a while, a small group of loyal partners elected to join our dance and utilize, sell and evangelize about Cloud solutions. A while later, a few more joined, then a few more and more and more. We have got to the point where we are today, having gone from 5 companies signed up to sell our solutions, to where it is over 270, with more becoming active every day. We now have a LOT of crazy people dancing with us. Now, however, I think crazy has become the new normal. The people not dancing with us look like the crazy ones now.
When we were the crazy, shirtless guy in the field, we had to beg for airtime with suppliers and ask really nicely if we could possibly, maybe, if they felt like it, sell their solutions. Now we have to turn some of those people away.
We always knew there would be this “Hockey Stick” type of effect in our business, but to be in the throws of it is something…..I don’t know…magical.
So when you see someone standing in the field with their shirt off dancing around like they may be having an “Episode”, maybe you are the crazy one?
PS. We need to thank the local and global Microsoft Hosting and Cloud team for being those first 2 guys to join us while we were standing there dancing away. That takes just as much courage as being the nutter.