How can you know what you didn’t know you knew?

True story.

Circa 1995.   The day had finally arrived for me to meet with the Queen of all Media, Katie Williams, Owner of the super powerhouse  media agency  of the 90’s Williams Television Time in Santa Monica, CA. (Katie is this week’s guest on The C Spot).   Unfortunately, and how things seemed to always go at that time in my life; I had to meet with a total stranger.

At least I knew Katie so I was more comfortable pitching my billion dollar idea to her than to a total stranger but as I  contemplated the worse case scenario in my head I heard myself  blurt out; “Imagine a single guy; let’s say an attorney, sitting at his desk in Century City frazzled because he can’t find the time to go shopping for new clothes.   He knows exactly what size; color, style, and brand of shirt he wants but he works 12 hours a day.  Then imagine this;  he turns to his computer and logs onto a website; let’s say The GAP, and right there from his desk he orders the shirt he wants and 3 more; and a pair of pants.  A few days later they’re at his door.  It’s like a catalog on your computer.”  I stop for a moment and think to myself about the infrastructure it would take… ” I know there’s inherent problems like; order processing, warehousing, inventory and fulfillment; but we’ll figure that part out.”

She just stared at me.   “That’s it. That’s why you wanted to meet with Katie?”  Enough said.

I can still see her face in complete an utter puzzlement.  I can’t imagine she ever told Katie because she had no idea what I was talking about.  And ya know what?  I never did either.

The DOT COM bubble burst and the “world-wide web” became taboo for a few years; except for Amazon.  Amazon grew and grew; and grew some more; albeit with serious warehousing, inventory, fulfillment and order processing challenges; but they eventually figured it out.

Here’s what haunts me.   What if Katie had taken that meeting?  Would things have been different?  You know visionary to visionary?

That brings me to my headline.  In 1994 I had an IT manager; who spoke with a very heavy Romanian accent; one day he said,  “Mrs. Cooper do you see that guy, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know so pay attention because he’s very dangerous.”   It took me a little while to decipher what he meant, but over the past 17 years when I look back at that day in Santa Monica it’s crystal clear that I knew what I knew but I didn’t know that I knew it.   Is that dangerous?

Live on Thursday, October 4, 2012

Interview with Katie Williams of President of Ideal Living – IdealLiving.com 

Honoree of the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award – Electronic Retailing

www.LATalkRadio.com – CH 2 – 12PST

Wendi Cooper is the Host of The C Spot

everything you want to know about bringing product

to market even if that product is YOU

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