Marketers have to move upstream now. We have to stop being the last step in the process and start being the first step.
What marketers used to do is make average products for average people. That's what mass marketing is. They would ignore the geeks, and -- God forbid -- the laggards. It was all about going for the center. I don't think that's the strategy we want to use anymore.
The only people who get paid what they're worth are people who don't follow the instruction book, who create art, who are innovative, who work without a map.
It always feels too soon to leap. But you have to. Because that's the moment between you and remarkable.
If you treat your employees like mushrooms (keep them in the dark and regularly throw crap on them), it's entirely likely you will get precisely the work you deserve in return.
One way to think about running a successful business is to figure out what the least you can do is, and do that.
Learn. Ceaselessly. Learn to code, to write persuasively, to understand new technologies, to bring out the best in your team, to find underused resources and to spot patterns.
Artists are people with a genius for finding a new answer, a new connection, or a new way of getting things done.
And the reason is that until Wonder came along and figured out how to spread the idea of sliced bread, no one wanted it. That the success of sliced bread... is not always about what the patent is like, or what the factory is like -- it's about can you get your idea to spread, or not.
We need students who can learn how to learn, who can discover how to push themselves and are generous enough and honest enough to engage with the outside world to make those dreams happen.
It's entirely possible that there won't be a standing ovation at the end of your journey. That's okay. At least you lived.
If a product's future is unlikely to be remarkable -- if you can't imagine a future in which people are once again fascinated by your product -- it's time to realize that the game has changed. Instead of investing in a dying product, take profits and reinvest them in building something new.
We know what you want to accomplish... The real question is, 'what are you willing to push through the dip for?' What are you willing to stand up for, bleed for, commit to and generally be unreasonable about? Because that's what's going to actually get done.
The object isn't to be perfect. The goal isn't to hold back until you've created something beyond reproach. I believe the opposite is true. Our birthright is to fail and to fail often, but to fail in search of something bigger than we can imagine. To do anything else is to waste it all.
All great programmers learn the same way. They poke the box. They code something and see what the computer does. They change it and see what the computer does. They repeat the process again and again until they figure out how the box works.
Today, not starting is far, far worse than being wrong. If you start, you've got a shot at evolving and adjusting to turn your wrong into a right. But if you don't start, you never get a chance.
We're better in the rearview mirror than we are at predicting -- 'cause you're never going to be right every time. You can handicap it. You can point to certain elements that make it work, and many of those elements come straight out of epidemiology, right?
Outsiders are way more likely to approach your organization with fabulous projects if they think they're likely to both get a good reception and succeed when they get to market.
If we can fall in love with serving people, creating value, solving problems, building valuable connections and doing work that matters, it makes it far more likely we're going to do important work.
Understanding the mythology of your partner, your customer and your audience is far more important than watching the instant replay of what actually happened.
Some people read business books looking for confirmation. I read them in search of disquiet. Confirmation is cheap, easy and ineffective. Restlessness and the scientific method, on the other hand, create a culture of testing and inquiry that can't help but push you forward.
It's time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. Stop settling for what's good enough and start creating art that matters.
Seizing new ground, making connections between people or ideas, working without a map-these are works of art, and if you do them, you are an artist, regardless of whether you wear a smock, use a computer, or work with others all day long.
Here's the fascinating part, call it the golden shoulder: We have no idea in advance who the great contributors are going to be. We know that there's a huge cohort of people struggling outside the boundaries of the curated, selected few, but we don't know who they are.
Self sufficiency appears to be a worthy goal, but it's now impossible if you want to actually get anything done. All our productivity, leverage and insight comes from being part of a community, not apart from it. The goal, I think, is to figure out how to become more dependent, not less.
No one has ever built a statue to a critic, it's true. On the other hand, it's only the people with statues that get pooped on by birds flying by.
Repeating easy tasks again and again gets you not very far. Attacking only steep cliffs where no progress is made isn't particularly effective either. No, the best path is an endless series of difficult (but achievable) hills.
You can use social media to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers and customers into salespeople.
Our job is to make change. Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they'd like to go. Every time we waste that opportunity, every page or sentence that doesn't do enough to advance the cause is waste.
If you borrow money to make money, you've done something magical. On the other hand, if you go into debt to pay your bills or buy something you want but don't need, you've done something stupid. Stupid and short-sighted and ultimately life-changing for the worse.
Art is the work of a human, an individual seeking to make a statement, to cause a reaction, to connect. Art is something new, every time, and art might not work, precisely because it's new, because it's human and because it seeks to connect.
It will take you less time and effort to do a thing the difficult way than it will to buy, try and discard all the shortcuts.
Those that spend the most effort in search of shortcuts are often the most disappointed and the least successful.
So sure, start with a slogan. But don't bother wasting any time on it if you're merely going for catchy. Aim for true instead.
Social Networking that matters is helping people archive their goals. Doing it reliably and repeatability so that over time people have an interest in helping you achieve your goals.
No one ever gets talker's block. No one wakes up in the morning, discovers he has nothing to say, and sits quietly, for days or weeks, until the muse hits, until the moment is right, until all the craziness in his life has died down.
The weird set an example for the rest of us. They raise the bar. They show us through their actions that in fact we're wired to do the new, not to comply with someone a thousand miles away.
A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.
Two different things: A crowd is a tribe without a leader. A crowd is a tribe without communication. Most organizations spend their time marketing to the crowd. Smart organizations assemble the tribe.
So much easier to aim for the smallest possible audience, not the largest, to build long-term value among a trusted, delighted tribe, to create work that matters and stands the test of time.
The opportunity is not in being momentarily popular with the anonymous masses. It's in being missed when you're gone, in doing work that matters to the tribe you choose.
Every voice doesn't matter -- only the voices that move your idea forward, that make it better, that make you better, that make it more likely you will ship work that benefits your tribe.
Great leaders don't try to please everyone. Great leaders don't water down their message in order to make the tribe a bit bigger. Instead, they realize that a motivated, connected tribe in the midst of a movement is far more powerful than a larger group could ever be.
Leaders lead when they take positions, when they connect with their tribes, and when they help the tribe connect to itself.
Instead of working so hard to prove the skeptics wrong, it makes a lot more sense to delight the true believers.
They deserve it, after all, and they're the ones that are going to spread the word for you.
I find that I have about six bloggable ideas a day. I also find that writing twice as long a post doesn't increase communication, it usually decreases it. And finally, I found that people get antsy if there are unread posts in their queue.
If you need to conceal your true nature to get in the door, understand that you'll probably have to conceal your true nature to keep that job.
The next thing you do today will be the most important thing on your
agenda, because, after all, you're doing it next. Well, perhaps it will
be the most urgent thing. Or the easiest. In fact, the most important
thing probably isn't even on your agenda.
Solving problems--actually solving them, not just claiming you do--solving perceived, urgent problems, is a surefire way to get the world to beat a path to your door.
Your drudgery is another person's delight. It's only a job if you treat it that way. The privilege to do our work, to be in control of the promises we make and the things we build, is something worth cherishing.
Black Friday is a media trap, an orchestrated mass hallucination based on herd dynamics and the media cycle.
As creators, our pursuit of perfection might be misguided, particularly if it comes at the expense of the things that matter.
If it were any other way, it would be easy. And if it were any other way, everyone would do it and your work would ultimately be devalued. The yin and yang are clear: without people pushing against your quest to do something worth talking about, it's unlikely it would be worth the journey. Persist.
Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been...frighten ed enough to hold it back. It's time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must.
Fear is the workout we give ourselves imagining what will happen if things don't work out... Worry is our effort to imagine every possible way to avoid the outcome that is causing us fear, and failing that, to survive the thing that we fear if it comes to fruition.
The librarian isn't a clerk who happens to work in a library. A librarian is a data hound, a guide, a sherpa and a teacher. The librarian is the interface between reams of data and the untrained but motivated user.
Most people don't see that they have options beyond what society tells them to do. That's the biggest problem. They honestly believe that compliance is the shortcut to success.
Isn't the drawing board the place where all the best work happens? It's not a bad thing to go back there. It's the entire point.
Everyone has a comfort zone. Worth considering: How hard (and how often) are you willing to work to get out of it? You can turn that into a habit if you choose.
Without a specific reason for the consumer to behave, without a reward or benefit, the overwhelmed consumer will refuse.
Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.
If you bring your best self to the world, your best work, and the world doesn't receive it, it's entirely possible that your marketing sucked.
One way to sell a consumer something in the future is simply to get his or her permission in advance.
Organizations that destroy the status quo win. Whatever the status quo is, changing it gives you the opportunity to be remarkable.
Marketing is the act of inventing the product. The effort of designing it. The craft of producing it. The art of pricing it. The technique of selling it.
The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you haven't given them anything else to care about.
The goal of a marketing interaction isn't to close the sale, any more than the goal of a first date is to get married. No, the opportunity is to move forward, to earn attention and trust and curiosity and conversation.
The time to look for a new job is when you don't need one. The time to switch jobs is before it feels comfortable.
Transferring your passion to your job is far easier than finding a job that happens to match your passion.
People get good gigs because they stand up....You don't get picked. Reject the tyranny of picked. Pick yourself.
The sooner we realize that the world has changed, the sooner we can accept it and make something of what we've got. Whining isn't a scalable solution.
In other words, If you don't take action, you won't get any results You are not your resume, you are your work.
The myth that the CEO is going to discover you and nurture you and ask you to join her for lunch is just that, a Hollywood myth.
Do you believe in what you do? Every day? It turns out that belief happens to be a brilliant strategy.
Fitting in is a short-term strategy that gets you nowhere. Standing out is a long-term strategy that takes guts and produces results.
Human beings, thanks to culture and genetics, are inclined to be pessimistic, fearful, skeptical and believers in conspiracy theories. We also don't like change.
All motivation is self-motivation. Your family, your boss, or your co-workers can try to get your engine going, but until you decide what to accomplish, nothing will happen.
I believe that uncertainty is really my spirit's way of whispering, I'm in flux. I can't decide for you. Something is off-balance here.
Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from.
My blogging life is basically goalless. I like the zen nature of that, and paradoxically, it improves results.
If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will willfully ignore the future that is likely.
In a battle between two ideas, the best one doesn't necessarily win. No, the idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it.
The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there.
People will follow.
I intentionally abandoned the hard stuff early on because not only do I think it's useless, I think it's a distraction.
Being a leader gives you charisma. If you look and study the leaders who have succeeded, that's where charisma comes from, from the leading.
Do you know what people want more than anything? They want to be missed. They want to be missed the day they don't show up. They want to be missed when they're gone.
The internet was supposed to homogenize everyone by connecting us all. Instead what it's allowed is silos of interest.
When enough people care about autism or diabetes or global warming, it helps everyone, even if only a tiny fraction actively participate.
Most people have bosses who hire them to fill a slot in the work chart and to do what they are told. And most people who are doing what they are told feel safe; it feels reliable.
The problem with competition is that it takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method, to find a new way.
The Net is not television. It is the finest direct-marketing mechanism in the history of mankind. It is direct mail with free stamps, and it allows you to create richer and deeper relationships than you've ever been able to create before.
I learned that a long walk and calm conversation are an incredible combination if you want to build a bridge.
The future of publishing is about having connections to readers and the knowledge of what those readers want.
The minute there's a map, there is no art. Paint by numbers is not art. Paint by numbers is a mechanical activity.
The thing about information is that information is more valuable when people know it. There's an exception for business information and super timely information, but in all other cases, ideas that spread win.
Habits like blogging often and regularly, writing down the way you think, being clear about what you think are effective tactics, ignoring the burbling crowd and not eating bacon. All of these are useful habits.
In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.
Permission marketing turns strangers into friends and friends into loyal customers. It's not just about entertainment -- it's about education. Permission marketing is curriculum marketing.
If we live in a world where information drives what we do, the information we get becomes the most important thing. The person who chooses that information has power.
What tribes are, is a very simple concept that goes back 50 million years. It's about leading and connecting people and ideas. And it's something that people have wanted forever.
The way to work with a bully is to take the ball and go home. First time, every time. When there's no ball, there's no game. Bullies hate that. So they'll either behave so they can play with you or they'll go bully someone else.