Product & Startup Builder

Mojo, Magic, That certain something

Added on by Chris Saad.
As we inch closer to Beta it gets easier and easier to start stressing out. "Have we made the right choices?", "Will people understand what we were trying to do?", "Did we achieve what we set out to achieve?", "Will people like it?".

We would, of course, never be susceptible to such self-doubt - because, you know, we're so good.

The real indefinable question to me is how do you communicate the fire inside to people who don't know you from a bar of soap. How do you show them that big vision over there, without overwhelming them.

Maybe you don't. Maybe it somehow comes through in your work and the product speaks for itself.

Tara has a great post about what Mojo. That certain something that makes a product and a company great. It's something you feel in your bones that is beyond words or any single element of design or execution.

She lists some things one could do to tease out their mojo. I think, however, you can't fake Mojo - you either have real passion for what you're doing or you don't.

Here is Tara's list:
  1. Have a higher purpose. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s essential to mojo to believe in something beyond your own needs.
  2. Don’t be a commodity. Commodities don’t have mojo, they compete on price, efficiency and speed. Mojo is terribly inefficient. (I’m planning to write more on commodity vs. craft again soon)
  3. Work as a team. If your employees aren’t feelin’ it, your customers won’t either. Treat your employees as members of a team. Reward passion.
  4. Be part of the customer community you are serving. Use your own product, interact, use competitive products, work to further the industry you are in.
  5. Operate on passion, not ambition. Ambition is great for making barrels of money on undercutting and destroying your competition, climbing to the top of the corporate ladder, etc. It ain’t mojo.
  6. Give a damn. This is kind of tied to everything else, but people with mojo never have to have “because it’s the better thing to do” explained to them.
    Commit to excellence. Obsess over details. Experience. Be bothered by one customer’s bad experience. Work hard to do better.
  7. Get slow. Ever notice how people with mojo never seem to be rushed or distressed? They seem reflective, introspective, they take their time. Think slow food, slow marketing, etc.
  8. Believe in your gut. Stop thinking 100% with your head. Fritz Lang once said, “The mediator between head and hands must be the heart!” We really don’t value it enough in the world of business. I suppose heart isn’t as profitable…but I’m not advocating maximum profitability here…

I do hope that the Touchstone Beta speaks for itself and that our Mojo shines through. If not however, I think I can count on a few friends (you guys and girls reading this) to help clarify things until we sort out the glitches!