The Rose Island
And the Business Lessons We Can Learn From It
Recently I have watched a movie on Netflix the “Rose Island” and it really intrigued my curiosity. The film was about Giorgio Rosa, an engineer from Italy, and his friend Maurizio who created a 400 square meter platform in the sea and declare it an independent island. They even made a petition to the European Council to protect and recognize the island as an independent state. When a German deserted who worked as a club promoted join the team he brought many people on the island that was by turn into a big disco. The island draw so much media attention that people from all over the world visited the small island to have a drink and have some fun. Giorgio name himself as the president of the island and wrote a letter to the United Nations for protecting the island from Italy’s threats. The story ends when the Italian government sent a battle ship to capture the residence and destroy the island.
Wow what a story! But is it real? Well, I have done my research and I found to my amazement that the story is completely true. My business mind started spinning and below are the major business lessons that we can draw from this amazing story.
1. Don’t just think outside of the box, but create your own box!
The two friends dissatisfied with the status quo of the Italian government decided to create their own country with their own rules. All business owners should think of creating products and services that are unique and no competition can disrupt them. Having your own unique products or services makes the competition irrelevant and you start playing your own game. People usually perceive exclusivity as something of a higher value and therefore are willing to pay a premium as a ticket to that exclusive group.
2. You always need promotion
The island draw attention to a national and international level only after the German promoted joined the team and organized boat trips. The moral of the story here is that no matter how good your product or service is you always need a good promotional strategy. Promotion couple with media exposure will gets people’s attention and then you can easily turn spectators into buyers.
3. Your business should have solid ground
Countries have physical territories, constitution, president, ministers, government, postal services and many more. A country is created with the aim to be forever. That is what I call a “solid ground.” Therefore a business owner should create a business in a way that it will be viable even long after he is gone. To do that, business owners should create systems and processes that ensure business operations continue without the presence of the owner. An operational manual, just like a country constitution, should document business processes. A manual guides employees on how they should do things. Not having those systems and manuals in place the business will collapse when the owner is gone.
4. Think and act big
When I was young I thought of having my own island and I am sure many of you thought the same thing. But only a few crazy ones just like Giorgio Rosa actually did it. So the “Think Big” motto of the 80’s is no longer valid. Now you have to “Act Big” as well. Having amazing ideas are nothing if you don’t put the hard work to make them a reality. Acting is what going to get things done. Massive actions or “acting big” is what distinguishes successful companies from the small ones.
5. Establish your authority
Giorgio knew that in order for his island to be legitimate he should get the approval from the European Council and the United Nations. Establishing your business as an authority in your subject matter is really important. You can establish your authority and dominance in your industry in two ways. The first is by associating your business with other authorities such as being a member of associations and federations. The second way is by massive exposure so that your business should get brand awareness and brand recall. For example when you ask people to name computer companies Apple Computers is one the brands that they can easily recall in their minds.
6. You need a team
Even the “president” Giorgio needed the assistance of his best friend to create his island. Then he needed a barwoman, a promoter, ministers and so forth. You can start a business by yourself but you need a team to grow it. Did you know that TEAM is the acronym of “Together Everyone Accomplishes More”? Though the combine forces of a team your business can reach goals that will be impossible to accomplish alone. Get people into your team who share your vision and make your dreams a reality.
7. Grow fast or you will die
As a famous quote says “If you are not growing you are dying.” The same happened with the Rose Island. The small island was a pain in the “back” for the Italian government that destroyed it at the end. Creating your own company is a great concept but if you don’t grow it fast most probably it will have the same fate of Rose Island. Big competitors will come after you and your clients. Getting your business stronger and bigger provide the armour and the arsenal to fight them. Don’t fool yourself that by being a pioneer you will have a sustainable advantage. Only fast growth can provided the resources to fight big competitors who are lurking after your clientele.
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