February 19, 2016 Jason Khoo

The Spirit of Innovation: Challenging What We Know About Marketing

Note: At the writing of this post it was the day before President Obama’s State of the Union

Last night was President Obama’s final State of the Union address. I was able to catch some of the speech on YouTube, but because of some impending deadlines I had to jump off and get back to work. Even though I only caught about 10 to 15 minutes of it all, there was still a certain part of the video that really shook me. It was when Obama asked us,

“how do we reignite that spirit of innovation to meet our biggest challenges?”

Once he said that it made me freeze. It made me think about why I’m here. Why I continually open up my laptop every single day typing away at my laptop. It isn’t just to so that I can check how socially awesome I am by looking at how many likes, favorites or hearts I’m getting. It isn’t about being an escape from the world and I know sure as hell that it isn’t about work.

While I’m sitting here looking down at my screen, watching these characters being typed I feel something, a feeling that has always kept me going every day throughout all the classes, meetings and hard times. It reminds me that I’m sitting at my laptop creating these words, putting thoughts into the world so that I can change the world.

I’m not going to say it sounds stupid, because it doesn’t. I don’t think its stupid. I hope you don’t either. For you reading this, you may be an aspiring marketer, a business owner or just randomly coming onto this page, but I want to ask you the same thing.

Why the hell are you sitting at your computer or looking at your phone, looking at this article. Think about the holistic action of being on your electronic device. What is your purpose?

While you think about that, let me tell you what my answer is. I’m here to change things up. I love marketing. It allows anybody or any entity to broadcast a product, an idea or even just a message to people. It causes movements, change and progression towards a better future. It isn’t perfect though. The transition from billboards, radio, TV and then social media has not brought a perfect harmony of marketing, advertising and consumer relations. Its a lot better, don’t get me wrong, but it is our duty to continue to make it better, to innovate.

So when Obama talked about innovation I asked myself if I was doing enough. Since I was about 15 to 16, I began to really believe that I could do anything that I put my mind to. Was I doing things that were making me feel like I was reaching the outer limits of my current comfort level and potential. Was I making the world better? My answer was yes, but I need a refresher. I need to challenge myself to be scared and to try to new things. And what if we look stupid doing it? Who cares. Wouldn’t you sacrifice looking stupid in order to make the world a better place? I certainly hope you do.

Every day is an opportunity to continue to build and grow on what we can contribute to the world. Thousands of people are working to creating better technology, infrastructure and products. I’m sure that you have done your part as well to. However, we cannot get complacent. Our obligation is to continue to push forward. So I want to remind everyone with an excerpt from Obama’s final State of the Union address.

“But we can do so much more.”

If you’d like a transcript of the speech, you can find it published by the White House on Medium

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Jason Khoo

Jason is a graduate from California State University Fullerton's Mihaylo Marketing program. Starting his career in marketing consultancy as a sophomore, Jason went door to door asking businesses to give him a chance. From then on, Jason has been helping businesses understanding the vast bevy of marketing and online tools to help accomplish business goals on behalf of his clients. Jason writes at Ron Wave Design, his personal site and at medium (@jasonjkhoo).
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