Thursday, April 16, 2009

Going Outside of Your Comfort Zone

There's lots of rhetoric out there about how in the current economic conditions we should all take risks, embrace failure and, as entrepreneurs, go outside of our comfort zone. Sometimes I think that this is an inspirational message. Then, I see something like THIS:





This is what happens when Brooks Brothers went outside of its comfort zone, and kept going. It's an ensemble from Brooks Brothers' Black Fleece spring collection. The Black Fleece label was created by the traditional clothier to help it capture the more avant-garde men's market. Every season for the last 2-3 years, Brooks Brothers has invited designers like Tom Ford to re-think the Brooks Brothers esthetic under the Black Fleece label. So far, once they've done their damage, no designer has returned.

Maybe fashion is a good metaphor for innovation. Is your latest idea one that will wear well? How would it look on, say, Jason Calcanis or Terry Matthews? Like an Armani tux? Or, like this:

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