I think it’s kind of ironic, actually, tonight’s turnout is arguably the biggest of the series. And I wonder why that might be. Perhaps it might have something to do with the title of this talk today.
Perhaps there’s something in the letters s e l, that strikes a chord with you. So, my intention tonight is to carry on the journey that I’ve taken you on with my story thus far, where having produced a business model in a certain way, we have to take that to market. And the talk tonight is going to basically show you exactly how we did it, what the results have been. And hopefully you can learn how to do it, too. But to just go back, and recap, sort of where we’ve come from so far. So I started off by explaining that in the internet, age, everything has changed, we now are in a connection economy, we no longer live in an industrial economy. And as a result of the connection economy, it’s about having relationships, it’s about using connectivity, and plugging all of that connectivity into the huge machine called the internet. And as a result of this, the existence of this huge machine, you have an opportunity to specialize in just one thing and become an expert in that niche and by parlaying your expertise in that niche, you create relationships with people who have a need to access your expertise, and expertise experience. And then I explained that if you had traveled that far down that path, and you wanted to make a business out of it, then you needed to produce a business proposition that was by definition, remarkable, as Seth Godin would have it, a purple cow. So I talked about how we had built our own purple cow at the Hong Kong Visa Center, and showed you the constituent parts of how we put it all together and how you, of course, could do that too. And then, the last time I was here, I talked about really getting into the shoes of your customers, really understanding your marketplace, understanding the jobs to be done, that people have to achieve in order to attain their objectives, and what the psychological experiences along that way and how you can anticipate the the psychological moment, and inject persuasive techniques that are ethical and come from within our evolutionary biology. So by having all of that tied together, you arrive at a point where you’ve really got something special, you’ve got something akin to market alignment. But now what you’ve got to do is make sure that this business achieves its potential within that machine called the internet.
So I’m going to take you back in time to when I first started business for myself, one of the early lessons that I had was that there was always somebody standing in the way of me being able to achieve my goals. There was the huge amounts of money that my smaller immigration practice had to pay to the South China Morning Post in the early 1990s. To reach the constituency that was out there wanting to connect with me, there was the insane amounts of money that I would pay to a small Japanese pub newspaper called the Hong Kong post, because a large number of our clients in the early years were Japanese. But every step of the way, in my early practice, before I took it on to the internet, I realized that there was actually somebody stopping me from really allowing me to achieve what I thought it was capable of achieving. And then I took a kind of a jelly in business and did some non immigration related things where I lost my fortune. But I learned that when I was in the medical devices business, I couldn’t achieve my objectives there because the doctors were in the way. And then when I did my software business, I realized I couldn’t achieve my objectives because the guys with propellers in their heads inside these companies that were protecting their networks there was getting in the way. And I found it a constant source of frustration. So when the opportunity came along to build the Hong Kong Visa Center in the way that we did, I wanted to make sure that there was never ever going to be Anybody standing my way ever again. So, I built, as I’ve explained previously, the Hong Kong Visa Center collection of websites. The Hong Kong visa is a brand. We’ve built a disruptive business and business and service proposition Marvel to such an extent that it’s at its very core DNA, a purple cow. And we’ve parlayed essentially everything that anybody that would want to have available to them to help them solve their problems, it’s all there on the internet, completely free of charge. And, and because I’ve got that opportunity, I thought it would naturally just by its very nature, be attractive to everybody that would come across it and that was great. But this was in 2011.