_Ken King is a serial entrepreneur on his way to becoming an angel investor, with current interests in five businesses and several others in negotiation. His core business is “King Marketing, Advertising & Communications Inc.”:http://www.kingmarketing.ca, which provides creative and consulting services to its clients. Since completing an MBA at Queen’s University, Ken has expanded his consulting practice to include coaching entrepreneurs on business planning, strategy and operations._
*One Degree: What is Enablr?*
“Enablr”:http://www.enablr.com is simply a front-end for real human beings who are going to “transcribe your podcast”:www.enablr.com/transcribr/ or “print out and mail your letter”:http://www.enablr.com/stenographr/. We just make it easy by eliminating a lot of the messy stuff that you would normally do to connect with those human beings.
In a larger sense it’s an experiment in listening to people, identifying a need and then doing something about it – quickstyle.
*One Degree: It took you 19 days to go from a concept to being a fully-functioning business with real revenue. It took One Degree six weeks to do the same – I feel like a dinosaur! What does this rapid level of innovation mean for traditional businesses?*
Just about every business should think about speeding up their processes. Look, some smart guy can always pull out an example of a product or service that you wouldn’t want to have cobbled together in a week – dental surgery, perhaps – but for most, you don’t need to do months of surveys, focus groups, or engineering studies. As Tom Peters wrote in his Project 50, you can mock up almost any idea, any product, create some means of testing an idea in the real world, today, now.
I think the key to rapid prototyping is to set firm deadlines, and then figure out what can be done within that time to move the project forward. We’ve actually stalled out a little since the launch, and that’s the plan we’re putting in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again. “Check with me”:http://www.enablr.com/blog/ again in a few weeks to see if it worked. 😉
*One Degree: Your service is pretty specialized. How will you make sure that the right people know about Enablr?*
By talking to people like your readers. 😉
Podcasts are still very new, and people are just starting to figure out the shortcomings – they’re not searchable, they require your full attention and can’t be browsed, they’re not accessible for people with hearing disabilities. We believe that people who care about those issues will hear our story and share it.
*One Degree: Are there any lessons traditional marketers can learn from Enablr?*
Take action. Most product innovations have been kicking around in plain view for years by the time they hit the market and everyone looks at it and says “why didn’t I think of that?”
Rather than adding the idea to a list of features that are going to be included on your next market survey, or in the next focus group, why not just add it to a short run of the product, seed it in a few stores and see what happens?
*One Degree: This isn’t your day job. What’s happening at King Marketing?*
It’s an exciting time for us – we’re on the verge of an amoeba-like split between our creative and consulting services, something that’s been envisioned for a long time. The teams on each side will have a clear vision of what their clients expect, and will be able to develop processes and solutions that work best in those situations. I see it happening repeatedly – eventually we’ll have an entire petri dish full of businesses.
My vision is to operate as an angel investor. Right now, most of the ideas I’m funding are my own but we’re being exposed to more and more smart, energetic people who just need a little bit of seed money or even just encouragement to get them on their way – and I hope that we’ll be in a position to help.