The Jetson’s got more than just the crazy traffic right.
When “The Jetsons” premiered in the 1960s amidst the fever of the space race, their vision of the future seemed too far-fetched to ever become reality. It’s pretty incredible to see how a lot of those unthinkable advancements have come true in the new century. Roombas are the Rosie the Robots of our time. Flat screens are the only way to view television. The Jetsons practically invented Skype, and even though we don’t have flying cars just yet, low-carbon emission vehicles have brought us closer to that fantasy than ever before.
Yes, the Jetson’s creative world was filled with great ideas for the future, planting seeds into the minds of young entrepreneurs who dreamed about the future and dared to wonder, “why can’t we have that?” There are so many ideas ripe for the picking in this 1960’s classic — so roll out of bed, hop in your aerosaucer, and hustle the family into their flying pods, because we’re about to create the future for your mega-business.
“That’s what keeps me going: dreaming, inventing, then hoping and dreaming some more in order to keep dreaming.”Joseph Barbera, Producer of The Jetsosn
3 ways your business can become more future-minded.
1. Cater to the “Georges” as well as the “Janes.”
Jane Jetson was a consumer extraordinaire. She didn’t have any trouble finding a good use for all her spouse’s hard-earned cash. George, on the other hand, was more stubborn and hesitant to spend. It didn’t matter if he couldn’t fix it, he was going to beat that dead robot.
I make sure to serve those Jane Jetson super consumers, but I also think about the more reserved George Jetsons, too. You definitely want something shiny to attract the attention of your consistent shoppers, but you also want to hone in on the details that will make an already satisfied customer consider an upgrade.
A big part of what made The Jetsons such a cultural mega-hit was the fantasy of the future solving everyday problems. New, futuristic home appliances capitalized on ease-of-use and thoughtful design, and I can still remember fantasizing about the possibility of some of those appliances in real life. Every time my mom ordered me to clean my room, I dreamed of a Rosie to help. Actually… even today, I still need a Rosie in my life to coddle me and pick up after me.
Consider similar factors when developing your next product. How easy will this program be for your customers to implement? What does your “worst customer” look like — you know, those uncooperative Georges who aren’t exactly open-minded (or opening their wallets). How can you make your product more appealing to that potential buyer? Focus on the experience for customers of all shapes, sizes, and temperaments, and you’ll end up with a stronger product.
“Publicity gets more than a little tiring. You want it, you need it, you crave it, and you’re scared as hell when it stops.”Joseph Barbera, Producer of The Jetsosn
2. “Jane, stop this crazy thing!!!”
Good old George, he always thought a solid kick to the appliance would fix it right up. In the end, though, he always had to feel the pain of his inattentiveness and procrastination. Don’t wait for Astro to say “ruh-roh!” before you take action – anticipate troubles and stay ahead of them.
Giving it the good old-fashioned George thumping was my solution to problems for a long time, but I wish I would have actually taken George’s hilarious example a little more seriously. I know I was like 7 years old at the time, but no excuses! If I had followed George’s lesson and not just his example, I would have known that not giving my business problems the attention they deserved would turn into a disaster.
If George anticipated issues with his spacey home appliances before they went up in smoke, he could have avoided a lot of headache (and possibly medical bills, because he had to break a foot at least once or twice, right?). Don’t wait until your business is going up in smoke to start taking action — stay ahead of the curve and start problem solving before things get out of control.
“Making cartoons means very hard work every step of the way, but creating a successful cartoon character is the hardest work of all.”Joseph Barbera, Producer of The Jetsosn
3. Don’t move to another galaxy.
Don’t jump too far ahead and put yourself out of orbit working on a brand-new contraption. Start small: What’s one way you can take a pre-existing product and improve it for future use? Research common issues within your industry, and start to take notes on what a “dream product” would look like to suit the needs of your consumers.
When I have a product that already works, I spend way more time learning to fine-tune and refine it than I do trying to come up with something new. Even the most amazing products always have something that could be improved. When I follow customer suggestions and upgrade products based on their responses, I am met with appreciation and return customers. Your clients love feeling heard and will be happy to continue doing business with you if you listen to them and constantly strive to make what you’re offering just a little bit better.
- Cater to the Georges as well as the Janes. Think about your audience and what appeals to them. Your products should suit your market, but they should be about improving lives.
- “Jane, stop this crazy thing!!!” Don’t get caught on a crazy contraption that doesn’t work and can’t be stopped. Anticipate the big problems before they hit.
- Don’t move to another galaxy. Research common issues within your industry and identify solutions to them. Focus on improving pre-existing products and listening to the feedback you get from your customer base.
The Jetsons were my favorite family of the future, since they showed us the possibility of the future and encouraged us to dream about solutions to simplify our lives. And you thought it was just some silly kids show. Being future-minded in your business means being better prepared to address the issues of tomorrow. When it comes to your venture, never fear letting your imagination run wild; take a cue from The Jetsons, and you may just find yourself the leader of a multi-million dollar empire in the future.