• Kat O'Sullivan

How this 1980's saying, "eat your own dog food" changed everything

Last week was the 40th anniversary of Apple declaring they would begin "eating their own dog food." Looking back, it was a bold move that ushered in a new era of technology.

Back then, who would have believed the typewriter would become obsolete? Here's the memo that changed everything:

EFFECTIVELY IMMEDIATELY!! NO MORE TYPEWRITERS ARE TO BE PURCHASED, LEASED, etc. etc. Apple is an innovative company. We must believe and lead in all areas. If word processing is so neat, then let's all use it! Goal: by 1-1-81, NO typewriters at Apple . . . We believe the typewriter is obsolete. Let's prove it inside before we try and convince our customers.

What is YOUR "dog food?" We are living in a time of seismic shifts and endless aftershocks with new challenges that will continue to inspire new ideas and, and yes, new innovations. It will also necessitate that we let go of what's no longer relevant or meaningful. What does that look like for you? For your company? What do you need to do differently within your company, BEFORE you try to sell it to your customers? That's the question we would all be well advised to ask ourselves going into 2021.

For me, 2020 was definitely a year of taking my own medicine. And often, it felt like a bitter pill to swallow. It was a year of literally rethinking everything, over and over and over again. Exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. It's been an opportunity to reimagine, reframe and revitalize my business . . . which is what I've always loved doing with and for others.

For me, the question became, who do I need to BE to better support others going forward? It was a radical shift from what do I need to DO! Frankly, doing was a much easier, more familiar, and yes, more comfortable task. Whew! When everything came to a halt, at first I thought I was experiencing burn out. While there's certainly some truth in that, there was a much bigger issue . . . the harsh reality that my whole life revolved around my work, i.e. my "doing." Even when I was home, it was only to prep for the next day.

Never really "living" outside of all those "to do's" and serving others was well intended, yet, not enough. Not enough for me and certainly out of sync with what I want for my clients. In 2021, I'm committed to living a fuller life and supporting my clients to make that a priority, for themselves and their people.

Whether you're a B2B or B2C business, what if we reimagine, reframe and revitalize our businesses by making the shift to a H2H business . . .Human to Human! More than ever, I believe THAT is what will catapult us into a better world, for everyone.

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