Why business is like: Hitchcock's Vertigo

How a classic Hollywood film relates to your business...

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Last Updated: 19 Oct 2010

When Vertigo was released in 1958, The New Yorker described it as 'far-fetched nonsense' and Time magazine lamented 'another Hitchcock and bull story'.

The critical mauling led to poor box-office returns, and Hitchcock took the film out of circulation in 1973. Since re-emerging after his death, however, it has come to be regarded as a masterpiece.

In a more modern equivalent, Radio 1 almost never plays Scooter, a German techno-pop group whose music sounds like a pub brawl. Notes business analyst Roger Holdom: 'Commentators often threaten to drown out the consumer.' But that didn't stop the band knocking Madonna off the top spot last year. Scooter's success shows that the rules are shifting. The internet provides a direct link to consumers, bypassing critics who may be operating to their own agenda.

There are plenty of examples of business propositions succeeding despite the well-respected doubters. Take Zopa, an auction site that introduces borrowers to private lenders over the internet. Despite offering some of the best rates on the market, Zopa has been excluded from influential best-buy tables, yet it has facilitated loans of more than £33m since 2005. Zopa's example suggests we look beyond the critics. Thrill your customers, and you can rise to dizzy heights.

Jennifer Harris is director of JRBH Strategy & Management, www.jrbh.co.uk

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