Context is a Mother

Context is a Mother

Recently a Facebook friend tagged me in this picture saying:

phone meme

Now I’m saying to the younger generation “BACK IN MY DAY” lol

We are slap bang in a time when things are being redefined before our eyes! Exciting right?

However it made me wonder how many businesses are responding to these changes and whether their offering is within today’s ‘context’.

By definition a ‘phone’ according to Google is:

a system for transmitting voices over a distance using wire or radio, by converting acoustic vibrations to electrical signals.


There is a barrage of stats from all over the web, which tell us that the ‘phone call’ is not what people do mostly on their ‘phones’.

I think we all know this, so what’s my point.

Within a modern context, a ‘phone’ means something we can use to access information (emails, web, contacts, data) or use as a tool (photos, torch, clock, compass) not to mention the millions of possibilities presented to us from apps.

It’s ALL about CONTEXT.

But context doesn’t wait for you or your business to ‘catch up’ it just ‘is’. And if you’re not ‘with it’ then context can be a MOTHER F$%#3R.

Just ask the 1,000’s of businesses that either never take off or end up on the SME scrap heap.

Someone contacted me a few days ago with an idea they had to start a new business. They continued to articulate the business model as well as they could until I realised that what they were talking about, relative to the sector they wanted to go into was an ‘old phone’.

It’s almost as if they were saying that they wanted to offer people another way to connect to the internet, but it would mean they’d have to ‘dial up’ each time.

Initially I was stunned and couldn’t believe that they didn’t get the context from within which people operate today. But I realised something; there are ‘levels to this’ and context exists in ways that are subtler than we are used to.

Let me give you an example.

If someone was transported from, let’s say 15 years ago and you showed them a video on Vine or a Tweet for example, they would assume you were showing them a clip or excerpt from a longer piece of content.

Not realising that clip or Tweet IS the entire piece of content.

Whereas, we, in a modern context understand that the overall proposition of media lead content has changed. And a 7 second video or 140 character piece of content is ‘normal’.

The difference in how that content is perceived is quite subtle yet fundamental to today’s business models and consumer propositions.

So what does this mean for you?

Well ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is the business you’re doing or would like to do in ‘context’ with today’s market?
  2. Did you come up with the answer to question 1) or did you ask an expert (smile)?

Context can be a MOTHER F$%#3R but it can also be the Mother which births new ideas and ways of doing things. These created by entrepreneurs and new businesses that understand its context.

It’s the reason why people didn’t ‘get’ Twitter, or can’t understand why the kids are on Snapchat or Instagram, or why Bing won’t eclipse Google and why Yahoo! are struggling to define themselves.

The younger generation out there will be familiar with the term ‘LEVELS’ and for those not familiar, it really describes you, or your businesses ability to advance within it’s market and stay ahead of the game.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Angela Maria DiFranco, American singer, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, poet and songwriter who said:

“Taken out of context I must seem so strange”

Julian ‘The Ultrapreneur’ Hall is a serial entrepreneur and #1 best selling author of ‘Entrepreneur to Ultrapreneur‘. The founder of UltraEducation, a company that teaches entrepreneurship in primary (@UltraKidsClub) and secondary schools. 

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