To infinity… and beyond

When Neil Armstrong uttered his legendary quote “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, he probably had no idea just how giant the leaps in technology were going to be throughout the rest of his life.

Armstrong, who can trace his origins back to Fermanagh, died last month and will be remembered as a hero. He was also incredibly brave, making the trip to the moon in a piece of equipment that looks more Stone Age than 1960s when compared with that of today. As a relative is fond of pointing out, Armstrong went to the moon before the humble digital watch had been invented!

Indeed Google released a statement last week, where they pointed out that an average Google search, the thing you do about 20 times a day, takes more computing power than the entire Apollo mission. That’s not just the space flight, but includes the entire planning and execution of the mission.

Of course the technology used by Nasa back then was cutting edge and the organisation remains that way. The recent landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars was achieved using some of the most advanced equipment available today.

The Curiosity Rover is equipped with its own Twitter feed (@MarsCuriosity), and is tweeting ‘back to Earth’ in the first person. It is posting updates of its activity, photos of the landscape, answering question, playing music, sharing information from mission control and being the public face of the mission.

There is a lesson in this for us all in the business community too. You might not have Nasa’s billion dollar budget, but you can look at what you have that people might find interesting. Check out what Nasa are doing well they have more facts at their finger tips than even they know how to publicise, so they’re not.

They’re telling stories, engaging people, giving them something to talk about and something to share.

Now look back at your business. What is it that you do every day that no longer seems remarkable? What is it that people always ask you about when you tell them what you do? Who are the characters in your organisation?

People buy from people – it’s an old adage, but it’s still true – so develop the personality of your brand and find the right channel to get that to your customer.