What Star Trek taught us about Content Development

What Star Trek Taught Us About Content Development (Part 4)

Content development is an important lesson that I first learned from watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. If dweebs like Wesley Crusher can use their sizeable brains instead of their feeble muscles to warp the Enterprise to Romulus and back, then can’t you flex your intellect to earn more business for your company?

This is the fourth and final instalment of The Content Guide.

Star Trek has been one of the most powerful influences of my life. Gene Roddenberry’s vision for a utopian future filled with citizens working to better themselves and the world around them has resonated through millions of people all over planet Earth (and elsewhere). Star Trek’s content has encouraged positive cultural reforms and inspired countless gadgets and technological advances. People scoff at trekkies and nerds everywhere because of their fascination with a television show (in addition to eleven movies totalling over 1.4 BILLION dollars in revenue – but yeah, Star Trek is just for nerds), but the fact remains that Star Trek is a positive influence for the entire globe.

(Google itself got in on the act, with a 46th anniversary tribute to Captain Kirk and the guy in the red uniform who always dies on away missions.)

Have you ever thought about the influence you have on people? Clients, other businesses, customers or prospects? Read on to learn how Star Trek taught us to develop content.

The Positive Influence of Content Development

I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Captain Picard solve intergalactic moral dilemmas. His unwavering stance on injecting goodness into the universe serves as one of the primary tennets for how I choose to live my life. In addition to accelerating the unfolding history of mankind ever forward in spite of the challenges of outer space, Captain Picard was a good boss – a good boss given a good plan: to operate on the principles given to him by the late Gene Roddenberry.

I’m not here to deliberate about the merits of Star Trek (an argument about Star Trek usually degrades into an argument about why people think The Big Bang Theory is a science fiction show that promotes real science – lolz), because they speak for themselves. People just need to listen.

The central theme of everything Star Trek tackles is morality – from the campy 1960’s original series to the William Shatner narrated Trekkies (one and two) to JJ Abrams mind-bending take on quantum politics in 2009’s Star Trek. Star Trek’s content is based on morality. Is yours?

Content development is the fuel that powers the Enterprise and all of humanity toward a unified vision of the future. The fuel that powers the moral fiber of the Star Trek canon is simple: one man’s plan for the future and how he planned to develop his content and his ideas.

To Boldly Go…

So, how will content development support your plan? Well, first you need to have a plan. An idea on its own without content developed around it doesn’t normally amount to much.

The Plan

Gene Roddenberry had a plan. All great visionaries (make no mistake – Gene Roddenberry is one of the greatest visionaries of the last two centuries) develop a plan and construct and develop worthy content to populate that plan. Roddenberry’s content development was his vision – a vision of a future where humanity supports itself and the entities it encounters.

The Content Development

Star Trek created the United Federation of Planets (an intergalactic partnership of species supporting eachother’s right to exist – similar to a UN that doesn’t argue argues less), and Starfleet: the governing body of humanity’s space program. Starfleet and the Federation are Captain Picard and Captain Kirk’s bosses. These institutions were written into the Star Trek universe in order to support the plan Gene Roddenberry had for a science fiction television series in the 60’s. Star Trek is the dream, Starfleet and the Federation are the content development.

Resistance Is Futile

…except the plan didn’t work. Initially. The original series’ aimed to take Captain Kirk, Mister Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew on a five-year voyage, but the show was cancelled after three seasons, probably for the same basic reasons that shows like Enterprise, Arrested Development and Community are cancelled – people don’t get them. Gene Roddenberry was ahead of his time in so many ways – he created timeless content faster than time could appreciate it.

Let’s get back to the present.

How will your content development support your business?

Let’s summarize; even though the majority of television viewers in the 60’s didn’t appreciate Mr. Roddenberry’s ideas, it’s clear that his plan has had a timeless effect. So how did content development support Star Trek’s original plan?

  • Starfleet (developed humanity’s ability to militarize for science and exploration)
  • The Federation (supported Mr. Roddenberry’s hope for unity amongst galactic nations)
  • Relationships (remember when Captain Kirk kissed Lieutenant Uhura? Eventually everyone gets along on the bridge of the Enterprise)

Function’s own central theme (content marketing and expert-level copywriting for growing businesses) are lost without content development. It’s ok, I can admit it. That’s why Function published The Content Guide – to spread the good word of content marketing strategies for businesses large and small so that Function grows in accord with the companies it serves.

Makes sense, right? Help others, and you will be helped.

I believe in the importance in contributing value to the universe, and it’s due in large part to Captain Picard and the messages in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Function is about to push to new heights, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

…Ok, maybe some people have gone this way before, but content development is nothing without a few helpful mentors along the way. Who are your mentors?

The Future of Content Development

I truly hope you enjoyed The Content Guide. Two new Function series are mapped out and ready to contribute to your content development: Impact Writing for the Growing Business and Big Writing for Big Business. All you need to do is subscribe to the Function mailing list with the big green button and you’ll get every single drop of epic content marketing goodness delivered straight to your inbox on a weekly basis.

You can chime in on twitter or in the comments as much as you’d like, but Function’s reward is the knowledge that helpful goodness is being injected into the universe, just as Mr. Roddenberry dreamed of.

So what are you waiting for? Flex your inner-Wesley Crusher and subscribe! Part one of the Impact series drops in two weeks.
Back to The Content Guide.

Photo cred: Flickr User Foomandoomian.

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