The Awesomeness Manifesto: Beyond Innovation

Beyond “The Generation M Manifesto”, Umair Haque explicates “The Awesomeness Manifesto” and further engages the community with “Wanted: Your Thoughts on Awesomeness”.

He claims  that “awesomeness is the new innovation”.

He explains that innovation as “the ultimate source of advantage”  is a “relic of the industrial era” because:

  • “Innovation relies on obsolescence” where “creative destruction” “makes yesterday’s goods and services obsolete”.
  • “Innovation dries up our seedcorn” where “entrepreneurial aspects of commerce” focus on “selling the same old toxic, industrial era junk in slightly better ways”.
  • “Innovation often isn’t” where “innovation means, naively, what is commercially novel” but “is often value destructive and socially harmful”.

He explains that there is a “better concept, one built for a radically interdependent 21st century”, awesomeness, which has four pillars:

  • * “Ethical production” where “awesome stuff is produced ethically”.
  • “Insanely great stuff” where “awesomeness puts creativity front and center” and “awesome stuff evokes an emotive reaction because it’s fundamentally new, unexpected, and 1000x better”.
  • “Love” because “love for what we do is the basis of all real value creation”.
  • “Thick value” since “adding value” is the “most hackneyed phrase in the corporate lexicon” as “most value is an illusion”.

He summarizes:

What is awesomeness? Awesomeness happens when thick — real, meaningful — value is created by people who love what they do, added to insanely great stuff, and multiplied by communities who are delighted and inspired because they are authentically better off.

Furthermore, “Gen M knows ‘awesomeness’ when we see it — that’s why its part of our vernacular” and “it’s a precise concept, with meaning, depth, and resonance”. “In the 21st century, if you’re merely innovative, prepare to be disrupted by awesomeness”.

Umair’s description of the “industrial era” involves an ecosystem where organizations (enterprises as collectives of individuals) innovate to create advantage and deliver added value that other individuals and organizations in turn use to innovate to create advantage and deliver added value that other individuals and organizations in turn use to propagate this producer-consumer value-chain model where value is extrinsic.

Umair’s description of a “radically interdependent 21st century” involves an ecosystem where organizations (enterprises as collectives of individuals) innovate to be “authentically better off” and deliver “thick — real, meaningful — value” that other individuals and organizations in turn use to innovate to be “authentically better off” and deliver “thick — real, meaningful — value” that other individuals and organizations in turn use to propagate this authentic-meaning value-chain model where value is intrinsic. Organizations in this model are indeed Purposeful Enterprises!


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