Is Zapier the catalyst your business needs?

There are a lot of things out there that people would like to get done. But sometimes that initial burst of effort required is just a little overwhelming, making these things take a very long time.

In these kinds of situations, what you need is a catalyst to get things going. What Zapier has done is act as this catalyst for the connection of web apps. Founded out of a startup weekend in late 2011, Zapier uses an online web platform to integrate apps like Google Docs, Asana and Salesforce, to do whatever task or workflow you may want, saving time and energy

Zapier operates on a Freemium, business model. A limited version of the software is free, with the opportunity to upgrade to a variety of plans with monthly subscription fees. Freemium models usually have less than 10% paying customers, but a low additional cost per user allows paying users to subsidise free users, and a high-quality product often helps convert these free clients.

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So how does Zapier work as a catalyst? What does it have in common with chemical catalysts and how they work?

Uncatalysed reaction

Reactions with high activation energies are very, very slow. So slow in fact, that they might never happen. Catalysts are compounds which speed these reactions up and allow otherwise impossible reactions actually to occur. For example, there is a process in our body that would take 2.3 billion years without a catalyst. If we didn’t have that catalyst, we would be dead.

Now, I for one love all the nifty apps that are around, but my enthusiasm means the collection I use seems to be growing and growing. I’m forever thrusting a new one on our start-up team (sorry guys). You either have to access and update each one manually (boring and time-consuming), or pay a web developer to integrate your apps with code (expensive). Here Zapier comes in, automating the process and saving people masses of time.

To run successfully using the freemium model, users need to really like the product. Otherwise, they will never convert to paying customers or refer others. Did you know free users can be worth as much as 15-25% of a premium subscriber due to referrals alone?  That means you need to impress everyone.

 

Alternative pathway

A catalyst works by providing a different route for a reaction to take, giving the same result. Just like how you can take multiple routes as you drive to work.

What Zapier offers is an alternative pathway for data sharing. Their alternative path is a “zap”, which integrates whatever app you would like, creating a trigger for a new action. This could be automatically sending welcome emails using MailChimp after the completion of a Google Form, or using a new customer in Salesforce, to trigger the creation of the same new customer in Zendesk and Harvest.

zap

 

Reducing the activation energy

The energy needed for a reaction to occur is the activation energy. The lower this activation energy is, the less energy you need initially to kick the reaction off. A catalyst speeds up a reaction by forcing the alternative pathway with a lower activation energy.

In the same way, using Zapier to automate your app integration is easy, with a few simple steps. Users save themselves the overwhelming activation energy of mind-numbing manual labour or complex code development that would usually put them off, and require significant amounts of time and money.

Catalyst.png

Catalyst regeneration

What makes catalysts fantastic is that they aren’t used up. They can be reused again and again to make many reactions faster.

The Zapier software does the same, always being available to make that next new Zap, while linking seamlessly in the background. You can repeatedly connect anything. It is also easy to adjust the integration, add a new step to the Zap or pause it for a moment.

 

Turnover number and frequency

Unfortunately, catalysts cannot function optimally forever.  The turnover number of a catalyst is the number of reactions it can catalyse before it loses effectiveness. Similarly, the turnover frequency is how fast you can recycle a catalyst.

It is these properties that allow Zapier to make money. By essentially limiting this turnover number and frequency at different plan levels, from between 5 zaps and 3000 tasks per month (free) and 125 zaps and 50,000 tasks per month ($125 per month), users are encouraged to upgrade. The small price increases between plans, makes the investment appear good value. The increasingly high-quality product, catalytic efficiency, and the enormous potential Zapier could have on a business attracts potential customers. Take for example Green Socks, they launched a prototype app within 24 hours, without even using a single line of code!

 

A marker of a company that will be successful is one that solves a problem. Zapier does this, making web app integrations easy for everyone, and saving immense amounts of time in the process. It catalyses action for businesses and individuals, which in turn catalyses the conversion of free subscribers into paying customers, leaving the ultimate product of a business reaction, revenue.

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Will Hello Fresh keep glowing?

Have you ever been to a UV party? When the UV lights are on, everything is cool and glowing. But the minute the lights are off, the fun ends. A bit like your standard sales business model. You have to put in energy (the light) for every single customer purchase (the glow). Otherwise, that one-off customer is gone, never to be seen again.

But do you remember those glow-in-the-dark stars you had as a kid? They kept on glowing long into the night and were so much more bang for your buck.

GLow in the dark stars

So what if you could take your UV-party business model, and turn it into a glow-in-the-dark stars business model? A model, where the sales keep rolling in? Like Hello Fresh and the subscription model perhaps?

Founded in 2011 by Germans Dominik Richter and Thomas Griesel, Hello Fresh has now expanded to seven countries and operates as a registered company in Australia.  They deliver food boxes weekly (over 1.5 million per week in fact), with everything you need to prepare dinner, from recipes to pre-measured ingredients. Basically, it makes dinner easy, convenient and decision free. It’s perfect for busy people.

The subscription model has a lot in common with those glow-in-the-dark stars and the process called phosphorescence (University chemistry coming in handy again). So how does Hello Fresh make their business model glow?

Exciting the electrons

Do you remember excitedly taking the stars out of the packet and into a dark wardrobe, only to find they didn’t glow? No charge… By putting the stars under the light, you excite their electrons, giving them the energy to jump up an energy level.  Meanwhile, Hello Fresh puts a lot of their energy into marketing and sales, with promotions to invite friends, media publicity, and data analytics. This gets their customers excited about their product and up into the buying state.
Phosphorescence one

Moving to the triplet state

Typically (like at a UV party), excited electrons quickly drop back down to the ground state, emitting no more light. But with glow-in-the-dark materials, these electrons can move across into a state called the triplet state. Here they can’t just drop back down instantaneously, and they stay excited for longer. By customers signing up to a Hello Fresh subscription, they are staying in this buying state for longer.  You can think of the triplet state like the triple+ money state.  The longer customers are subscribed, the more money earned.  All without repeatedly having to put in the energy to get the customers. Having projected customer numbers week on week also makes the uncertain logistics of food distribution much more manageable and efficient for Hello Fresh.

Subscription one.gif

 

The forbidden transition

So what keeps the electrons excited in the triplet state for so long? To move back to the ground state, the electrons have to go through a “forbidden transition”.  Sounds ominous doesn’t it? This movement is much slower, and so the stars continue to glow.  Now Hello Fresh does not lock people in for life (no there’s no sneaky fine print), but in the same way, once a customer is signed up to their box, the “forbidden transition” becomes the subscription cancellation.  For the lazy among us (Hello Fresh’s secret target market), it is harder to cancel that subscription than just to let the food come week on week.

Unfortunately, the subscription model is not all roses (or twinkling stars)

Reaching the triplet state

If getting to the triplet state was easy, everything would glow in the dark. But it doesn’t.  In the same way, it takes a particular kind of business to make the subscription model work.  It has to be something people want week on week.  And getting that commitment is hard.  I know I am drawn in by the offers of $1 food boxes, but the minute you tell me to put in my credit card for a recurring payment, I panic.  So Hello Fresh has to work hard for these first sign ups, more so, than for a one-off purchase.

 Return to the ground state

Just like electrons drop back to the ground state, and the stars stop glowing, customers quit their subscription, leaving the buying state.  These cancellations aren’t just from people like me who exploited the $1 first week deal (#typicalstudent). Even for those genuinely interested, it’s so easy for that one week break to turn into two weeks, then three weeks…  To stop those breaks from ever happening, it’s important that Hello Fresh’s recipes and products are varied, delicious and healthy week on week. When customers are paying a premium, they need to like what they are getting.

Quantum yield

The quantum yield of a material tells us how long it will keep glowing brightly.  Hello Fresh needs a high quantum yield. To be sustainable, they need a strong customer base, as the bigger they are, the cheaper they can get produce, the more efficient their deliveries are, and the more people try each meal box. Meaning more profits.

So just like a glow-in-the-dark material, Hello Fresh’s subscription model keeps revenue rolling in. But the work put in to get and hold onto customers is high, and only time will tell if this investment rewards them with glowing profits.

 

How to crystallise start-up success

Dipping my toe into the world of entrepreneurship, I’ve realised that it’s actually quite hard.  In fact start-ups fail all the time (90% if we are being precise).

You know what else fails all the time? Crystallisation.  Having spent my fair share of time in university chemistry labs, I’m well acquainted with this mysterious process. It involves making a liquid solution which should *theoretically* then start growing pretty little crystals like in this video.

 

Unfortunately this is what actually happens most of the time…

Crystallisation saga

A low success rate to say the least.

Yesterday, it became clear in my Advanced Physical Chemistry lecture that crystallisation is not in fact chemistry sorcery, but a precise balancing act.  A lot like start-ups.  Some grow into big successes (big crystals), while others never make it (no crystallisation).

One start-up that seems to have crystallised success is Education Perfect.

They are a New Zealand company who offer educational software to schools globally. They originated from co-founder Craig Smith’s need to learn Japanese and German vocabulary for school exams in 2004. Now, they are aligned with national curriculum and have expanded into 22 subjects with 300,000 students using their software.

But, they were no overnight success story. It took them years to find success in the supersaturated education market, full of big players like Khan Academy, Mathletics and Duolingo.

So how did Education Perfect grow their crystal?

1. The right reactants

Without the right ingredients in the perfect quantities, you’re never going to get crystals growing (close enough is not good enough here). Education Perfect has spent many hours developing and optimising.  They now have an easy-to-use product, that gamifies learning, secretly sneaks in repetition so you actually learn something, and cuts back on teacher’s workloads by making homework setting and marking almost automatic.

Education Perfect use a subscription-based business model, charging schools $40 per subject or $100 for all subjects per student per year.  This model is handy for predicting revenue and managing cash flow, but means repeat business is vital.  Education Perfect have top-notch customer service, treating customers as honoured guests at an exclusive restaurant. They keep schools coming back by offering customisation, training and close relationships.

Unfortunately, the right ingredients alone aren’t enough. Early on, the crystals didn’t grow and Education Perfect had no customers.

 

2. Scratching

Theoretically scratching involves scratching a glass rod against the bottom of the beaker, creating a surface for crystals to grow on, and throwing off the equilibrium of the liquid.  What it often actually means for the over-zealous among us is:

over zealous scratching

Education Perfect didn’t physically scratch anyone (obviously), but they persevered with a few clever ideas, to throw off the equilibrium of the sector.  In the early days, their sales pitches were rejected again and again, even being called a ‘load of rubbish’, yet they persevered.  They found business channels which worked for them, directly contacting schools, and working hard to build relationships and deals.  In a true mark of perseverance, they redefined the meaning of “no”, realising it often wasn’t a straight out no, but rather a “not at the moment”, or “we don’t have the budget.”

Their innovative Language Perfect World Championship has also disrupted the sector, letting competitive spirit drive learning globally (it certainly worked on me #2011BronzeAwardWinner).  Free annual publicity and a chance to get people hooked on their product has been a stroke of genius.

 

3. Seed Crystals

These are the magic.  If you chuck one tiny crystal into the liquid, all of a sudden you will have heaps more crystals just like it. Obviously getting that first seed crystal, just like a first customer, can be a little tricky, as they’re not easy to come by.  However, once Education Perfect started to get paying customers, they started to gain the credibility and momentum.  They now had a revenue stream (or rather a trickle initially) and could further expand their reach.  But had they made it yet?

 

4. Reaching the critical radius

When crystals are trying to form, there are two conflicting forces at play.  When the clusters are small, they are dominated by the dissolving force. Yet when they reach the critical radius, all of a sudden the attractive force starts to dominate, and all the little crystals start clumping together. Next thing you know, your crystal is growing exponentially.

Forces pulling crystal apart (1)

It’s the same in the start-up world.  In the early days, everything is against you, but then you reach a certain point, and boom, you start to grow!  With no sales in the first year, $20,000 of profit in their second year, and doubling in size every year since, Education Perfect is the epitome of this critical size phenomenon. This was the exponential crystal growth they had been after all along.  Luckily for Education Perfect, being software based made them highly scalable, and absolutely ready for this size explosion.

 

Unfortunately, just because you’ve finally got your crystal, does not mean you will have a crystal forever.  Have you ever taken a snow flake and crushed it between your fingers? Crystals are delicate. With an ever-changing tech industry and fierce competitors ready to crush them, ultimately Education Perfect needs to keep growing. The bigger the crystal, the harder it is to destroy.

Bookme: Reinventing online deals

Following the summer blogging hiatus, this blog is having a bit of a change of direction, namely towards entrepreneurship. I will be kicking this off with a five part series about a number of awesome enterprises, what makes them tick and how they keep the money rolling in.

This week I will be investigating Bookme, a New Zealand Registered Company.  As a student who really cannot turn down a deal, I’m a big fan of Bookme, and love sharing the deals around to anyone who will listen.

Capture5

So who are Bookme?

In their own words, they’re an “innovative booking site for activities, tours and attractions.” They are based in New Zealand, but also operate in Australia and Fiji.  Basically, instead of buying a voucher to use at any time, like GroupOn or Living Social, Bookme customers can book and pay for an activity for a specific time slot, with some time slots heavily discounted.

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There are a lot of sites around that offer either online booking, or deals, but Bookme has done something a bit clever. They have combined the two to make a fantastic tool which benefits both tourism operators and customers.  Both of these parties are important, because even though customers are actually paying the money, keeping the vendors happy is important.

This is because Bookme’s business model is commission based.  For every booking made through the site, they take a percentage cut.  This model is not ground breaking in itself, but it is what they do with it, which makes them so for both vendors and customers.

For us, as members of the public, we are not only able to book a time online, but we get deals in the process (sometimes pretty spectacular ones!).  Think $1 Jet boating trips, or 50% off scenic helicopter rides.  What’s more, to help us work out where to spend our hard earned cash, Bookme offers authenticated reviews.  Only legitimate Bookme customers can review attractions, meaning no more dodgy employee reviews inflating ratings, only quality ratings that are actually reliable.  Together, these features keep us coming back, and on the lookout for the next good deal!

For the tour operator, it is even better.  They get to pick when they offer their deals.  They no longer risk scaring off their valuable paying customers at peak times, with hordes of GroupOn voucher fanatics.

cartoon

Instead the tour operators might have larger discounts early in the morning, when the late risers mean the surf school is empty, or put up a last minute deal to fill those last two sky diving spots at 12pm.

By reeling potential customers in with deals, Bookme is also able to secure full price bookings, which is fantastic for tour operators.  In fact co-founder Alder says some clients are making up to 95% of sales through Bookme at full price.  That’s pretty impressive for a deals site!

Also, Bookme is not trying to make their money in a one day frenzy like GroupOn, instead having long-term listings. This allows them to set their commission rate at a more sustainable level than the 20 to 30% usually demanded by daily deal sites, giving them a competitive edge. This keeps vendors happy, and continuing to run quality listings through Bookme.  And the happier and richer the vendors are, the happier and richer Bookme is.

Customers happy

It is this sustainable business model which is allowing them to continue to grow, when competitors like GroupOn have started to struggle.

There are however, a few stumbling blocks with their business model.

The site was set up on a shoestring budget.  Which means there is very little stopping anyone else on a shoestring budget from attempting the same.  Technically speaking, this is called a “low barrier to entry“.  Bookme has no concrete assets, like factories or patents, and are not directly offering any products or services, they are simply a gateway.  It is their reputation and the name they have built amongst tour operators and customers which keeps them afloat.  This means they need to stay on top of trends and ahead in the fast paced environment we see today.

Bookme is also at the mercy of the vendors.  If vendors decide Bookme is not for them or they will earn more money through other channels, there is very little Bookme can do.  For example, I am a regular at Muriwai Horse Treks.  Back in the day they always had deals on Bookme.  But now? I have to scour the calendar to even find a day I could book through Bookme.  It is peak season, with plenty of full paying customers, so why would Muriwai Horse Treks pay Bookme’s commission at all? They do not actually need the extra business.

Despite these disadvantages of Bookme’s business model, it is important to remember that all business models have flaws, and it is about ensuring these are balanced with strengths.  I for one, am glad that Bookme seems to have succeeded at this, as it means great deals!  Their growing business also highlights the value they offer to both customers and tourism operators, with their unique approach to booking and deals clearly a winning formula.

Mountain of work? Turn survival basics into boosters

Getting through the endless mountain of university work can seem like a bit of a hard slog sometimes.  You’re exhausted, and you can’t seem to make progress on the your endless to-do list.  Luckily, you can take the literal life essentials, like food, water and sleep, and turn them into such much more than a bare essential.  Use the tips below to turn the basics into boosters, give you perspective and launch yourself at the next task with all cylinders firing!

FOOD

In addition to the obvious of not starving to death while burying yourself in your studies, you can turn food into a bit of fun.  With my friends from halls I often find myself spontaneously making cookies or going on group supermarket trips.  The chats and laughs you get by turning food into a social activity is definitely worth the extra effort.  When things get busy it is easy to retreat into your shell and focus narrowly on yourself and everything that seems urgent.  Hanging out with friends for a few hours often puts your troubles into perspective and gives you a boost when you return to work.  Socialising gives you perspective, so do it over food!

Survival Basics: Food

BREATHING

Undoubtedly breathing is pretty important for survival, but you can take this instinctive process and turn it into a refreshing one.  Everyday on the walk to university I walk through a nature reserve, filled with trees and gorgeous native birds swooping through the branches.  Just taking a moment to pause, taking in a deep breath of the fresh air and appreciating everything around you can be truly invigorating.  It gives you perspective.  Challenges you may be experiencing seem like a drop in the ocean when compared to the intricate balancing act of the ecosystem.  Whatever you are experiencing is probably not the end of the world.  Nature gives you perspective, so take it in with a deep breath.

Survival Basics: Breathing

SLEEP

Of all the essentials, when things get hectic sleep is often the first to be neglected, and you quickly end up a student zombie.  Ideally you should get seven to nine hours sleep, but this doesn’t have to be at the same time every night. Doing work when you are tired is a losing battle, so shift your sleep time based on how alert you are feeling.  Instead of battling until midnight, I often go to bed at 10pm and get up at 6am to do some more work.  You’ll probably be more productive, and you might even get treated to a glorious sunrise!  So make sure you get enough sleep, but do it when it suits you.  Sleep gives you perspective and clarity, so time it well.

Survival Basics: Sleep

Harnessing these basic needs and turning them into boosters is  exactly what you need to do when you are feeling swamped with your workload.  It will only take a moment, you’ll feel all the better for it, with so much more perspective!

Climate models: Understanding the uncertainty

For years climate change and global warming have been inescapable buzz words.  The constant doom and gloom can be overwhelming, and it is no surprise people feel a little hopeless.

Climate change doom and gloom

But, climate models can give us insight into climate change and help us prepare for the future, as explored in this video:

Climate models seem like a dull, technical topic, yet they are so, so important for so many areas, from food production, to public health, to the existence of different species.

Yet, when decisions are made today, for twenty years into the future, are climate models EVER consulted?  Although climate models can’t tell us with certainty what will happen, they give us a range of possibilities, many of which have serious implications.  Yet, as a whole the information gets ignored.  The longer action is left, the more expensive and difficult it gets.  So it needs to start NOW.  We need to start NOW.

The thing is so few people “get” climate models, or really even think about them at all.  We need to change that.

So:

  • Start reading
  • Be interested
  • Get the conversation started

Let’s make it the norm to talk about climate models. Here’s a few easy ways you can do that:

When watching the weather forecast: Explain to grandma how weather models work, and how climate models are based on the same principle.

When you’re planning your weekend ski trip: Discuss with your mate how a predicted a 3 oC temperature increase could mean that the number of snow days on Mt Buller halve (Bhend, Bathols & Hennessy, 2012).

When your mum says, “It’s freezing today, I don’t believe this global warming nonsense!” Explain the uncertainty behind climate models, and how they represent the overall climate, not just an individual day.

Basically, get educated and get talking.

References

Bhend, J, Bathols, J & Hennessy K 2012, Climate change impacts on snow in Victoria, report, Bureau of Meteorology, viewed 28 August 2015, http://www.climatechange.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/280463/cawcr_report_on_climate_change_and_Victorian_snow_final-dec12_web.pdf

Frame Pool 2008, Stock Video # 396-375-211, An animal cemetery of walrus bones, online image, viewed 28 August 2015,http://footage.framepool.com/…/396375211-animal-cemetery-ma…
The Telegraph 2015, Flood Philippines 2647456k, A flooded city street in the Philippines, online image, viewed 28 August 2015,http://i.telegraph.co.uk/…/…/flood-philippines-_2647456k.jpg
Tornado Facts 2002, Lightning and tornado storm, A lightning strike next to a tornado, online image, viewed 28 August 2015,
http://tornado-facts.com/…/07/lighting-and-tornado-storm.jpg
Westmount Wire 2015, Melting ice polar bear on, A polar bear standing on a piece of floating ice, online image, viewed 28 August 2015,
https://westmountwire2014.wordpress.com/…/global-warming-i…/
Blake, M 2014, Namib desert, The dry landscape of the Namib desert in Africa, online image, viewed 28 August 2015,
http://www.beautifulworld.com/…/nami…/small/namib-desert.jpg
Bush Fire Front 2015, Vic23, Fire engulfing a farm in Victoria Australia, online image, viewed 28 August 2015,
http://bushfirefront.com.au/1a/pic/2010/03/vic23.jpg
NASA 2001, Blue marble, A composite image of the earth as seen from space, online image, viewed August 28 2015,
http://solarviews.com/raw/earth/bluemarblewest.jpg
Prydain Wiki 2014, Llawgadarn mountains, A scenic image of a lake surrounded by mountains, online image, viewed August 28 2015,http://prydain.wikia.com/wiki/Llawgadarn_Mountains

Essentialist Leadership: Not trying to save the entire world

The world is turning to custard.  It hasn’t happened yet, but the youth of today are facing an increasingly ominous future.  Despite not creating the issues, we are bombarded by them on a daily basis through social media, and ultimately, it is who will have to fix them.  The sheer enormity of the many problems is completely overwhelming, and frankly, a little depressing. All we see is a future haze of unknowns.

Despite the uncertainty, or perhaps because of it, ask your average youth if they want to make a difference, and the resounding answer is “yes”.  They want to lead change.  Yet more often than not, what we actually see is only the odd action here or there, perhaps signing petition, or participating in Live Below the Line.  Then intentions are good, but there is little significant impact.  Why is there this gap between espoused values and actions?

For a start, these are not minor challenges.  These are adaptive challenges, rooted in what Heifetz, Grashow and Linsky (2009) call society’s self-propagating “broken system”. D’Souza and Renner (2014) say the issues we are currently facing can be described by the acronym VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous).   Not one single person can single-handedly solve even one of the world’s problems, let alone all of them.

VUCA

Furthermore, McKeown (2014) comments that when you are involved with too many separate activities which do not contribute to one meaningful whole, it is easy to fail your actual goal. Rather than consistently hammering the same nail, we are haphazardly whacking the odd one here or there.  This is not effective. Despite societal expectation, youth need to stop thinking they can do it all.  It is no wonder there is this gap between espoused values and actions, when youth are faced with the daunting prospect of an almost impossible challenge.

As shown in the video, a clear cut policy of essentialism needs to be adopted.

Just as Jimmy found, once peripheral elements are cleared, then you gain a focus to take action not only yourself, but to help others do the same.

Youth need to develop an “essential intent”.  McKeown (2014) describes this as a focus which is not only inspirational, but also concrete, meaningful and measurable.  You can think of it as a slogan or mission statement, crossed with a concrete goal.

To be honest, narrowing things down is tricky. By choosing to focus on one thing, you have to ask the tough questions about what matters to you, and make real tradeoffs (McKeown 2014). Heifetz, Grashow and Linsky (2009) explain you are demoting other important issues such as poverty and water shortages, by choosing to focus on your orienting purpose, such as climate change. This is scary.  But being “Jack of all trades, master of none”, will not even begin to make a dent in the adaptive challenges we are facing.  Sarah Sammon (2015, pers.comm. 19 May), founder of Simply Rose Petals, asserts,

“If you want to be successful, then you need to stick to your focus.” 

McKeown (2014) comments that the most effective form of human motivation is progress, because a small concrete win, helps us to gather momentum and reaffirm our faith in a project.  When you have a narrowed goal and direction, you can see things happening.  Rather than a drop in the ocean of the world’s challenges, you can see change happening in your corner of the world.  As youth exercising leadership, this is not only important for your followers, but also for you.  Without clarity and confidence in your direction, and the belief you are truly making a difference, no matter how small, then how can you possibly inspire other people to make change on adaptive challenges?

Generation Zero are a youth-led organisation in New Zealand who are a good example of essentialism.  Although their wider focus is moving New Zealand towards a zero carbon future, in their Big Ask Report, they specifically focused on reducing carbon levels to 50% of 1990 levels by 2050 (Generation Zero 2014).  This goal is ambitious, so inspirational, but also concrete and measurable, making it a clear example of essentialist intent.

(Generation Zero 2014)
(Generation Zero 2014)

The Congestion Free Network is an ambitious initiative almost entirely conceived by Generation Zero to improve public transport.  The initiative was adopted by both the Green and Labour party as their official transport plan (Forsyth 2013), and had nationwide television coverage.  Despite their aspirational fossil free goal, by working on a micro-scale, Generation Zero had made tangible progress in a short amount of time, boosing confidence for further projects, and increasing their following.

Ultimately, the state the world is currently in, means youth need to get out there and make change.  But trying to do everything will not get anyone anywhere.  Youth should adopt an essentialist approach, and focus their energies to one issue, so they can convey this clarity to their followers and start leading change on adaptive challenges.

References

D’Souza S & Renner, D 2014, Not knowing: the art of turning uncertainty into opportunity. LID Publishing Ltd, London.

Forsyth, L 2013, ‘The congestion free network proposal’, Campbell Live, television program, 3news, 31 July, viewed 28 May 2015, http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/campbelllive/the-congestion-free-network-proposal-2013073120#axzz3bV6VPvUB

Generation Zero 2014, The big ask: one key step for real climate action, viewed 28 May 2015, https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/generationzero/pages/548/attachments/original/1409480895/TheBigAskReport_WEB.pdf?1409480895

Heifetz, R, Grashow, A & Linsky, M 2009, The practice of adaptive leadership. Harvard Business Press, Boston, Massachusetts.

McKeown, G 2014, Essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less. Crown Publishing, New York.