// what do you think?


‘Spotlighting’ Our Way Out of the Goliath Economy

Creative Destruction” is the driving economic mode of our era. This term has been adopted as either the blessing or the curse of the post-1970′s global economy. Within the flow of Creative Destruction there’s only a specific amount of success that a society can provide to its citizens at any one time. At the top of this pyramid-of-success Goliaths seek to topple each other, over and over again. Some argue this mechanism creates greater innovation. Others see it as the path to a corporate state. Either way it’s causing a great deal of angst in the marketplace and seems to be stunting our economic growth.

What to do?

Rising voices, such as Umair Haque, Gregory J Rader, and Jennifer Sertl, hope to steer our economic modes down new and ideally more productive paths. We need more voices, and more practice, of new ideas to help discern the way out of our current morass. New products and services should create revenues while solving the symptoms of Creative Destruction: decreased productivity and inefficiencies, an increasingly unskilled labor pool, and diminished global competitive advantage.

Where should we look for new models to build our economic paths? The green movement, organic farms, renewable energy, and fair trade? New creative-technology hybrids such as transmedia and augmented reality? Yes to all. Surprisingly I’ve found one in the unlikely arena of Reality TV. The networks have identified a new, productively simple model. I’m calling it “Spotlighting.” Here’s how it works:

-    Focus your spotlight, pinpointed on magnetism: find, create, and/or build something magnetic
-    Cultivate that magnetism: grow it organically
-    Expand the spotlight out: increase the area of visibility around the original magnetism, identify new magnetic sparks
-    Cultivate the new points of magnetism, increase their unique spotlights, find even more sparks
-    Repeat

Here’s Spotlighting in practice. Let’s use “email newsletters” as an example:
-    Track the clicks on your newsletter to spotlight what is magnetic to your audience. Ingest this data and consider the implications
-    Act organically, cultivate the magnetism. Weave in more content that matches your audience, even if it points to a different direction than you had initially expected.
-    Expand the spotlight; invite your vendors to participate within the newsletter, see if your audience finds them magnetic
-    Pinpoint new spotlights: partner with your vendors, work with them to identify their magnetism. Help build their newsletters, cross market your goods to their market.
-    Expand the new spotlights: identify and develop new goods and services that are magnetic to your combined audiences. Amplify productivity, find new efficiencies. Spin-off a new newsletter
-    Repeat

It might not be as sexy or headline provoking as knocking your competition out of business, but our era needs new heroes. Grow greater prosperity and drive your value up by pinpointing, then widening out, the spotlight. Make your products better, build them to match your audience demand, and seek to collaborate in order to increase market awareness.

Be the trailblazer who Spotlights a new path of success. Start now.

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About Jason Moriber

A salty veteran of the dotcom boom, I currently work at Waggener Edstrom Studio D, where I am the Director of Digital Strategies. I have an MFA in drawing, launched and write for a handful of sites/blogs, and have created and implemented programs for auditors, start-ups, and organic farmers. I am in constant awe of the amazing people I learn about, meet, and fortunately get to work with.

  • http://OnTheSpiral.com/ GregoryJRader

    Very interesting post.  This sounds a lot like the “Pull” strategies described by John Hagel and John Seely Brown (http://www.edgeperspectives.com/pop.html).  Instead of pushing yourself through big dramatic plans, remaining open and allowing yourself to be pulled towards opportunities.  At the same time, being open and collaborative pulls others towards you.  

    You may be on to something in looking to reality TV as an example.  We might not like the product it creates but it certainly is very effective at cheaply testing hypotheses and then rapidly scaling those experiments that find audience appeal.  

  • http://twitter.com/jasonmoriber jason moriber

    Thanks Greg!

    Yes, I’ve read about that book, but now for sure must read it.

    I’m trying to arrive at solutions from the undertone, or fringes, of
    the creative arena versus from the inside of academically-rooted
    economics. We share similar hopes, but I’m prejudiced by my yearn for
    creative problem solving and the history of marginalized voices. I’ve
    begun to think more generationally: germs of solutions that are planted
    now might finally bear fruit 150 years from now. The trick is to build
    the community and the model that fosters this cross-generational
    cultivation. The Spotlight might allow for success in both the short
    and long terms, we’ll see.

    Thanks again, and relatedly thanks for your own writing on these topics, it keeps me honest,


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