By Gino Blefari
This week my travels first found me in Burbank, CA for the transition of Century 21 Crest Real Estate, now operating as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Crest Real Estate. This fine brokerage has 25 proud years serving Burbank, La Crescenta and Sunland and is on a mission to grow. At their transition event, you could practically feel the excitement in the air; everyone on that team is ready to go forward as a member of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices family.
After Burbank, I was on my way to Dallas to get ready for the 2016 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention. (Be sure to follow the brand on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for the latest updates from the #REvdUp2016 event.) I took my usual Uber to the airport in California and once in Dallas, was planning to call an Uber again to take me to the Omni Hotel. I must confess I’m no stranger to the app-based taxi service, which I find convenient and always reliable in getting me where I need to go. I’m also intrigued by Uber’s steadfastness in the face of certain speed bumps on their road to success. So far, long-standing regulations and legal obstacles haven’t stopped the company from finding rapid and expansive growth.
So, here I am in Dallas, about to call my Uber when I notice a new option on the screen: “UberPITCH,” it reads. Immediately, I’m intrigued.
A quick search on “UberPITCH” tells me it’s a one day, temporary feature Uber has added that will be available between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. today, which allows any passenger in Downtown, Uptown or Deep Ellum, Dallas to select “PITCH” and be driven to an awaiting venture capitalist (stationed, naturally, in a black Uber SUV). Then, this passenger will be given 15 minutes to pitch their best business idea.
Uber is no stranger to these add-on features—I’d heard about the puppy rental service they’ve run in cities from Los Angeles to NYC—but this particular one struck me as a totally out-of-the-box way for burgeoning business leaders to be heard.
So, what’s the message and why should we really take note of a geographically specific, three-hour feature Uber has added to their app? Well, in two words: creative disruption. To succeed in business you must first solve a basic problem with a solution no one else has devised but then you must develop, consider, reconsider, refine and modify this solution so that it brings about sustainable success. Here imagination and creativity come into play and UberPITCH is an ideal example of such mental assets at work. (A transportation app that also promotes entrepreneurship and innovation? Yes, please!) These are the same mental assets we weave into our culture at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, continually learning and improving on solutions from one day to the next. (Once you think you know it all, your slide to mediocrity has already begun.) The idea of creative disruption then, is an essential one to which all leaders must take heed because sometimes, for those who really work at it, success isn’t all that hard to find. However, it’s always a difficult thing to maintain, and for this reason we must stay innovative and stay creative in order to be that much more REv’d up than the rest.