In 1948, Dick and Mac McDonald’s opened a self-service drive-in restaurant. The menu was limited to nine items and service was faster than anyone had seen before. In 1954, Ray Kroc,52, first saw the operations of the McDonald’s restaurant and was fascinated by it. He had an epiphany and started his career in hamburgers by buying worldwide franchise of the restaurant from McDonald brothers; opened his first McDonald’s in 1955 and by 1965 there were 700 McDonald’s. Rest is history that defines the biggest fast-food chain in the world.
McDonald brothers perfected the operation of making and selling fries and hamburgers. Ray Kroc took it global and made McDonald’s a world icon. This is a perfect example of two different set of skills you need, one of a perfectionist to create a perfect operation and another of a visionary to take it global.
Who made McDonald’s “McDonald’s”? Ray Kroc.
It was Ray Kroc who picked it up from one store in a town in California, believed in the concept, set a perfect system to replicate the operations, built a team of great people and set McDonald’s as a world renowned brand. Without the vision, passion and risk taking ability of a Ray Kroc, McDonald’s would have been a great hamburger and fries joint in San Barnardino, CA just like Thai Tom is in Seattle, WA or Aravind Eye Hospital is in South India.
Both Thai Tom and Aravind Eye Hospital are great examples of a process made perfect by a unit at a certain place. But they are not yet global phenomenon because they don’t have someone with a vision and leadership to adopt them and take them worldwide. They are just like McDonald’s was in 1954, and for them to become “McDonald’s”, all they need is a “Ray Kroc.”
From the premier of a country to the layman witnessing an event down the street, everyone has got a voice and the leading way to raise it today is through twitter. Whether you are a celebrity managing a PR disaster or a brand raising product awareness, the best way to do it is by being precise, direct and without filters. This is where twitter comes in play. A 140 word short message that you can send out to the world irrespective of who you are, where you live (almost) and what you want to say (risks exist!). All in all, twitter provides everyone with a microphone to express ones views loud and clear.
One of the main advantages of this form of direct communication is that there is almost nothing lost in translation. The message reaches the audience as you want to send it. The chances of you being quoted out of context are less than ever before and the fact that it is on the web, the golden rule of “web never forgets” applies to your tweets to a large extent. Twitter has been more effective than other sources of information sharing like blogs, podcast and youtube. Reason being twitter is effortless. You can speak your head out and you don’t have to be a writer or photographer to do that.
Indian Premium League, one of the most lucrative sports league in the world, unleashed the power of twitter in one of the best possible examples of how dominating this medium can be. All through the tournament and scandals surrounding it, the role of major Indian newspaper and news channels was limited to quoting the role players from their twitter feeds. No major news conference, no people running with cameras and microphones, but as much, if not more, buzz and fan following, all through twitter.
The word of mouth social campaigns like Malaria No More and relief efforts in Haiti reached new heights with the help of twitter.
Twitter does a great job in leveling the playing field. You no longer have to wait to be reached out to or asked for an opinion. There’s the microphone for you and you got to leverage it to reach out to your “followers”.