Star Trek inspired the thinking of a generation because it dared to be different. A message explicit in its opening sequence.
In the 60s, lost so far back into last century that there was no email, no computers and TVs worked with vacuum tubes I used to watch mesmerised as Star Trek’s Enterprise flashed across my black & white TV. The iconic opening sequence with William Shatner’s voice bringing Roddeberry’s vision to life shaped the views of a generation.

Fast forward a few dozen years and Shatner has become a bit of an in-joke, Star Trek has spawned an entire gamut of spin-offs and created the basis for scientific developments which range from mobile phones (Star Trek Communicators) to Tablets (seen frequently on the Captain’s Bridge) and the world has become a place where the audience is more knowledgeable, experienced, tech-enabled and information-savvy than at any other time in history.

Yet, the sentiment of that opening sequence never fails to deliver a message which is as powerful as it is timeless. Listen to it for a minute (it literally is just 50 seconds long).


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGnTfg-MUhs


Beyond fanboy nostalgia the fascination with that sequence is because its message is not about doing something brave, or doing something new (by definition brave and new go hand in hand alongside unique), it is really about doing something exceptional. Doing the thing which no one else has done (yet). It is this need to be exceptional which frequently fuels our drives and helps us become unique in what we do and it is the same message which should go into our business.

If you are running your own business and have not yet figured out what it is that makes you exceptional now’s about the right time to quickly do so or begin to face the spectre of failure. I know it sounds harsh but the world has changed. Having a business, working it and keeping your head down and your nose clean is no longer enough. Now you need to be able to blow your own horn and project your unique selling point in a way that is conversational (instead of a traditional broadcast mode) or face being lumped with all those businesses which do not matter.

Just how you do this is a challenge which each business owner has to solve for themselves. The web and the world of business have become an incredibly crowded place where there is a lot of noise trying to catch the attention of a potential audience which is subjected to more information than ever before. Fail to catch their attention and lose any opportunity of doing business with them.

This is the same in every sphere of activity. Conceptual artist John Baldesarri, for instance, has to work just as hard to draw attention as someone who sells books, or refrigerators. And just in case you thought Gene Reddenberry had it any easier check out the drafts he had to work through before he managed to get that evocative opening prologue to Star Terk, right.

 

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