You need to be like Mike Wazowski to succeed in the digital age

Everyone doing business on the internet must be something utterly unique to make it. But most of all you need to be relevant to cut through the noise from the old world.

Mike Wazowski is the little sincere and friendly one eyed monster in the hidden world of Monstropolis. The place where scaring kids is the hottest job around.

The entire city is dependent on the energy generated from screams when the ‘scarers’ do their scaring. At least that’s what everyone thinks until little Mike Wazowski discovers that laughter instead of screams contains even more energy.

Talk about a cultural and commercial game changer. And as it happens Mike Wazowski is himself a comedian extraordinaire and suddenly finds himself in the sweet spot. It’s not really relevant to be frightening but much more being friendly.

In our world too it’s creatures like Mike Wazowski that will rule the internet and get to be in the sweet spot.

Monsters, businesses and people or whoever it is working to do good is the recipe for success in the digital age. No more scaring.

The endless sea of ​​information pouring out from our screens have altered the road to success. If you want an audience, you have to win the hearts of the audience, literally. Not just a like.

Technology allows us all to spread out messages to everyone and everyone of us are desperately trying to catch them all. On multiple devices. And endless channels of social media. To cut through all that in order to reach someone on the other end you really have to be outstanding. That means as everybody on earth now has a digital megaphone volume is no longer enough. The demands for something of relevance have exploded.

“Kids these days. They just don’t get scared like they used to.”

Anyone trying to find an ear or an eye must cater to the hearts. Otherwise they will get swiped away from our feeds.

The advertising industry talk about three ways of getting your message out: owned, earned and paid. That is you can own a channel or media yourself like a website. And you can earn publicity by doing mastering the new as in killing it on Snapchat. Or your can simply just cough up some cool cash and buy yourself some screen time like paid posts on Facebook.

But that’s just theory and advertising. In reality there is only one way for success on the internet: You got to earn it.

No matter who you are and what you stand for the need to create relevancy is crucial. We could call it the Relevance Economy. Or the Earned Economy. Governments, companies or people can no longer push for attention when they try to sell their policies, goods or comments on the internet.

If we for the sake of convenience say that all transactions consists of a relationship with a ‘sender’ and a ‘recipient’ the internet has made the amount of potential relationships endless.

It is a unique opportunity to make your business infinitely greater. But your audience, customers or friends also have an endless smorgasbord to choose from making them much more critical and selective. Making us all much more demanding.

As a recipient or potential buyer we no longer have to make do with the second best. Because the very best is just a click away. At the buffet of the globalisation you do not need to eat potatoes if you are more into frog legs.

New games, new rules 
The internet has not only changed the game, but also the rules. Where before you could very conveniently buy yourself attention and success as long as you had enough money, in the Relevance Economy in order to survive you must deliver a message of real value so people will actually spend their time on it. It may not seem like relevance is winning when everyone is fighting for your attention in your digital life now, but in the long run it will be like that. Relevance will conquer. Sooner than later.

And with the infinite number of possible connections, customers and voters out there you really need to be talented and sophisticated to satisfy the many different needs. Or maybe be more humble and build a smaller but loyal audience. In most cases it’s more fun and sustainable to mean a lot to a few selected people than mean a little to a lot of people.

Mike Wazowski and the cast from Monstropolis. Disney Pixar.

Mike Wazowski may be an awkward little monster but he’s the new school on the internet. The digital reality. And as it stands the world is already full of sincere creatures like him making a revolution by a thousand paper cuts. In the end they are taking away the attention from even the most superior big brothers and brands that are still fumbling to stay relevant at scale.

Whether they are trying to sell an app or goods in a web shop, or articles from a media outlet, movies or music from a streaming service or advertisements just in general, they must be relevant to each and every one they dream of having a relationship with. But as the days of push have been taking over by the pull it gets harder to be everywhere.

You need to ‘draw’ the attention in a positive way, just like Mike Wazowski makes the kids donate energy by laughing rather than by screaming. Curiosity and admiration is perhaps harder to find but way more sustainable. And fun.

It used to be the ‘sender’ in charge. Now it is the ‘recipient’.

That’s why everyone with a message must be unique in order to speak to the hearts of their ‘recipients’. Just like Mike Wazowski conquers the hearts of kids despite been bullied the establishment. Because he is much more relevant to the kids than the scarers. You could say he is earning it.

So find your own Mike Wazowski. It’s the little sincere and friendly monster looking at you with his one eye.

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