The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.
Part 1: Micah sends us to this report, just out a few moments ago: Pew: 14 Million Online Political Activists in U.S. Today | Personal Democracy Forum.
23% of campaign internet users has either posted their own political commentary to the web via a blog, site or newsgroup (8%); forwarded or posted someone else's commentary (13%); created political audio or video (1%); forwarded someone else's audio or video (8%). "That translates into about 14 million people who were using the 'read-write Web' to contribute to political discussion and activity," the study's authors Lee Rainie and John Horrigan write.
Part 2: Jill is inviting a few dozen non profits to a non-profit only seminar I'm doing in February. We've already got confirmed reservations from 5 of the top 30 orgs in the US, including executive directors from a couple of them. If you'd like to be considered, please drop Jill a note and tell her why.
Three experiences this morning:
Grocery store. (apparently) Single adult buying: Sprite, oreos, white bread, Jif, Welch's, Fritos. Grabbed a $6 chocolate bar at the register.
Hardware store. Fifty year old man doing card tricks for the clerk.
In the street: dozens of cars all costing more than $65,000.
They're kids. But with (even more) money.
If you manage, work for or just root for a non-profit, I hope you'll take a look at THE 59 SMARTEST ORGS ONLINE.
And yes, you can learn from these tactics even if you're a for-profit organization... we're now seeing great marketing ideas that move in a direction we're not used to.
Here's a preview of the top five (you can vote if you click through). It's not a popularity contest, of course, because everyone is doing really good work. Feel free to vote for any cause that has a technique or approach you'd like to highlight.
If you could do tomorrow over again, would you?
Most of us live programmed lives. Tomorrow is set, finished, done, and you haven't even started it yet.
And we accept that as part of the deal in setting goals and reaching them.
But what about the tomorrow thirty days from now? Or a year?
If you could do those over, would you? How?
The article in the Times didn't set out to say something vitally important about marketing, but it did. In starting off a profile it says,
"For the past couple of years Jun Kaneko, the ceramic artist..."
It didn't say "a ceramic artist." No. It said, "the ceramic artist".
The entire tone of the piece changes. It's so much better to be a 'the' not an 'a'.
Which are you?
I don't think it's a trivial distinction. In fact, I'd argue that it's worth an enormous amount of your time and your budget to focus on becoming the.
The Fedex woman stopped by my office on Friday. She wanted to know if we were going to be open on Monday.
I explained that our hours really never make sense, but that my team and I would be thinking of Dr. King and his work all day, regardless of what we were doing.
She sighed deeply and said, "Every year, we're supposed to ask if offices are going to be open, and last year it made me so sad, I had to stop asking. I even got written up for not doing it." It turns out that most people either said, "what holiday?" or "oh, we don't celebrate that..."
I've written a lot about worldview, about the instincts and biases and outlooks that shape our lives. It's very difficult to change a worldview as a marketer... but one thing that changes a worldview, not just forever but often for generations, is a truly horrific event.
Why is it so easy and fun for a politician to make fun of French people (the French are arrogant and don't bathe was the joke on the radio on Saturday), but a non-starter to take on rape victims? There are no skits on Saturday Night Live about Darfur. Why does it make us squirm when someone misuses the idea of a lynching for their own selfish motives? If you've been misjudged and mistreated your entire life, of course it has an effect on the way you see the world.
Slavery was the greatest crime of the millenium. Why does it surprise marketers (politicians and otherwise) when so many people have a worldview that has been permanently altered by the legacy of abuse? It's a worldview that doesn't ask for charity for the individual, but one that demands respect.
The lesson of diversity is a simple one, a compelling one, one that's been demonstrated over and over again. Diverse populations solve problems better and faster than homogenous ones. But the selfish value of treating people of all backgrounds in the same way is just part of the Reverend's message. The other part, the part that's easy to forget, is that when confronted with enormity, worldviews change. And if you want to engage with someone, you have no choice but to understand that. You don't have to experience the emotion in order to be able to respect someone who has.
Steve Jobs got a lot of press for his recent reinvention of the cellphone. The thing about the iPhone is that it doesn't really re-invent the cellphone. Mostly, it mashes a cellphone together with a few other devices (doesn't mean I don't want one).
The thing about the iPhone is that it is designed to better connect users to the network. You can check your voicemail in a random access way, like email, for example. But what it doesn't do is actually re-invent the very thing that makes cellphones magical: how you connect with other people.
Here's a few things a reinvented cellphone might be able to do:
Chris writes in about his work at Glass House Denver.
1. We placed a site sign at the construction site directing people to a website (not the one that exists now).
2. At that site, we ran a short slideshow of what I would call benefit pictures - no renderings of a pool, just a guy sitting by a pool.
3. Once the slideshow ended, we offered people a chance to "get on the list" for more information.
4. When we had permission from these people, we began updating them on our progress once a month, including revealing in more detail each feature of the building.
5. By the time we began the next step, over 5,000 people (I can't remember the exact number) had signed up (85% saying they were recommended by a friend.)
6. About 500 of those people had come by our office and REALLY expressed interest/granted permission.
7. We had about 45 cocktail parties for those people, about 15 at a time, at a restaurant in our neighborhood. In essence, we invited them in for drinks. We brought no collateral. No models. Instead, we just spent time with them. Answered their questions. Filled them in on the details that mattered to them.
8. Then we created a private website for those people who had expressed interest answering the most common questions we had heard in our cocktail parties.
9. From there, using a system that met some pretty stringent real estate law requirements, we offered those people who had expressed the most interest in Glass House an opportunity to purchase.
10. We're moving the first people in and are completely bought out - 389 residences before the completion of construction in a market that is decidedly not booming. (Don't get me wrong, this was a good building priced well in a great location. But, our marketing was the x factor in making it work.)
It all adds up to about $140 mm in revenue. Chris says it was this book. I think it took a lot of style and discipline and investment.
I just got a spectacularly insightful and honest e-mail from Scott. Here's the money quote:
We've "tried everything," by which we mean we've tried a few things that everybody else has done as long as they didn't involve doing anything differently from what we normally do.