A year or so ago, I had a call with a young man who wanted to connect about running workouts virtually. He lived in Bangalore, and made the point about how commuting to a gym is a big problem (Bangalore traffic is terrible), and virtual classes would be a winner. Good idea but ahead of the curve by a bit too much at that time, or so I felt (for The Quad). It might've worked for him starting off because he's appealing to a different set of people with a different problem.
We are used to our patterns, and it is a big deal to interrupt our pattern and make us do something else. With our existing customer base, this was not a viable idea to explore for us back then. We did think about it, and came up with a few scenarios about how to execute, and ultimately shelved it.
Then, came the pattern interrupt that is Covid-19. Everyone's patterns were disrupted. Thanks to the earlier conversation, and spending time thinking on that scenario, we were able to immediately implement our virtual BootCamp for 500+ of our students.
But the interruption, nay, the disruption - that's the key. Maybe the new pattern is here to stay, once the world eventually resumes normalcy. Maybe not. We think it is part of the fabric of how we will coach from here on.
Seth Godin talks about this brilliantly in two different pieces that clicked for me.
- Pattern Interrupt vs Pattern Match. That is, just fitting into the existing pattern. Interruption is a hard thing to do. We would not have been able to interrupt the pattern at such a large scale. The pandemic did.
- Being ahead of the curve. This is great, if a part of the audience agrees with you and not a majority. But if this part is too small, you are too far ahead to be successful. Probably.