Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
And so Jeb Bush’s candidature has been suspended.
This is polite politician-speak for: “Oh, I give up!”
As he came a distant also-ran to to The Tr(i)umphant One, Jeb Bush must have reflected on what went wrong.
Those who push for glory often do.
Here, then, are some things your push for glory can learn from Bush’s fall from grace.
1. Money Isn’t Everything.
They’re learning this one in Silicon Valley too. They think that all they need to do is raise a ton of money from gullible VCs and everything will be fine. Bush seemed to have the largest coffers. However, the more money was coughed up, the more the candidate stumbled. Until he was humbled. In the end, it’s the person and the idea that is tested. It isn’t the scale of finance behind them. Bush was too nervous in front of the camera and had no idea how to handle the fact that his brother had been something of a controversial figure when he was president. Strategy and execution are more important than money.
2. Understand Your Competition And Your Market.
Bush seemed to grasp neither. He, like many other professional politicians, had no idea why Donald Trump was so popular. He therefore had no idea how to compete. Should he ignore him? Should he try and fight him toe-to-toe? Should he appeal to his essential reasonableness? In the end, Bush fell between all stools. He had no feel for a market that was fueled by anger at the system, rather than at any specific issue or policy. He came as off as slightly bemused and unable to cope alone. Trump was right. When you have to bring your mom and your brother on stage, you’ve lost confidence in yourself.
3. The Logo Matters.
One of Bush’s very first steps was to attempt to hide his Bushness. Instead, he released a logo that was garlanded with an exclamation point. Jeb! That exclamation point was everything Jeb Bush isn’t — except for perhaps slightly old-fashioned. The logo came from the past. The Republican electorate is worried about the future. The logo suggested tradition, when people were sick of politicians’ tradition of doing nothing while lining their own pockets. The logo shouted, whereas Jeb Bush twitched and bristled. Your branding should reflect you. Yes, like Donald Trump’s gold faucets.