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One bit of economic reasoning says, "If there are no consequences, people will make bad choices." Don't let big banks get bailouts, because if we do, bankers will take bigger risks. So, make sure that the dentist is expensive (and painful) because that will encourage people to brush their teeth. And don't make it too easy to collect on fire insurance, or people will be careless with matches.
That would be today. And every day, if you're up for it. The things that change our lives (and the lives of others) are rarely the long-scheduled events, the much-practiced speeches or the annual gala. No, it's almost certain that the next c ...
Most of us need an external stimulus to do our best work. It helps to have an alarm clock if you want to get out of bed before dawn. A presentation. A deadline. A live performance. The threat of foreclosure, an upcoming review or some sort of crisis. We can use these pressures to dig deeper, find new resources and overcome our self doubt.
It says that people don't understand polls. Even smart marketers get it wrong. What do people think? There's a lot of confusion, much of it intentional, some spawned by a presumed fear of simple math, all of it worth clearing up. A survey is not a poll is not a census. A census is what you get if you ask every single person what they think or who they are.
One seductive brand position is the posture of being indomitable. Unable to be subdued, incapable of loss, the irresistible force and the immovable object, all in one. The public enjoys rooting for this macho ideal. Superman in real life, but with the rage of a caged tiger. It is our avenger, a Jungian symbol come to life. This is Norman Mailer or Mike Tyson. It's Wells Fargo or VW.
Years ago, I asked fabled direct marketer Joe Sugarman about the money-back guarantee he offered on the stuff he sold through magazine ads. He said 10% of the people who bought asked for their money back... and if any product dipped below 10%, he'd make the claims more outrageous until it get back up.
Bean to bar dark chocolate is a revelation. It's got the terroir and backstory of the finest wines, it's a collision of rural farmers and modern technology and markets similar to coffee, and it also brings along the Proustian nostalgia of childhood. Too many of us have been stuck in a Nestle/Hershey universe for too long.
What if the fear and malaise and anger isn't merely being reported by cable news... What if it's being caused by cable news? What if ubiquitous video accompanied by frightening and freaked out talking heads is actually, finally, changing our culture? Which came first, the news or the news cycle? We seem to accept the hegemony of bottom-feeding media as some natural outgrow ...
You can make software if you choose to. Not just the expected version of software that runs on a computer, but the metaphorical idea of rules and algorithms designed to solve problems and connect people... Apple started as a hardware company with the Apple II. Soon in, they realized that while hardware is required, it's software that changes the world.
Professional wrestling is fake. The blood is fake, the lack of physics is fake, the arguing with the ref is fake, the rivalries are fake... it might be professional, but it's not real. This willful disregard for reality is at the heart of pro wrestling. It's a juvenile fantasy, come to life. An opportunity to make up the rules, ignore authority, and exert bullying force on o ...
...is to get promoted. And the best way to get promoted is to learn something new and get good at it. Take a course. Learn to sell. Public speaking. Statistics. Become the person that your organization wants in a bigger role. You can accelerate that process with deliberate learning and practice. Smart companies will pay for it if you ask.
get really good at what you do. You have nearly unlimited strategic choices and options about your career and what your organization does. Which means you can focus on doing things you are truly good at. Or, if a particular task, project or career is important to you, you can do the hard work to get good at it. But it makes no sense ...
There's the filter bubble of the internet, in which we willingly surround ourselves only with information sources with which we agree, soon coming to the conclusion that everyone agrees with us. The other kind is the filter we can choose to build to avoid falling into a rabbit hole of wasted time, misogyny and dissatisfaction.
If you're sharing a cab to the airport with a stranger, what happens if he's two inches taller than you? Probably nothing. There's nothing to distract, or to cause discomfort. You make small talk. What if he's a little shorter than you? Or left handed? Perhaps he's not from your town, but from Depew, about twenty miles away. Probably nothing to consider...
Most companies seek to be more profitable. They seek to increase their Key Performance Indicators. More referrals, more satisfaction, more loyalty. They seek to increase their market share, their dividends, their stock price. But ethics? In fact, most companies strive to be just ethical enough. To get ethics to the point ...
This is more difficult than it sounds. To some people, it means admitting you were wrong. (But of course, you weren't wrong. You made a decision based on one set of facts, but now you're aware of something new.) To some people, sunk costs are a real emotional hot button, and walking away from investments of time, of money, and mostly, of commitment, is difficult.
We've been planning this one for months... On Saturday, December 10, I'll be running an all-day session in New York. You can find all the details and tickets by visiting this site. I want to connect you to other people making a ruckus. I want to create an environment where you can learn more and dream bigger. And I'd like to do it in a way that lasts.
Irritation is a privilege. It's the least useful emotion, one that we never seek out. People in true distress are never irritated. Someone who is hungry or drowning or fleeing doesn't become irritated. And of course, irritation rarely helps us get what we need. Irritation clouds our judgment, frustrates our relationships and gets our priorities all wrong.
"I" as in me, you, us, the person who's on the line. This is the work of a human. The audience can make a direct connection between you and the thing you're offering. "Made" because it took effort, originality and skill. "This" is not a wishy-washy concept. It's concrete a ...
Sir Kensington's Ketchup is better ketchup. Most adults who try it agree that it's more delicious, a better choice. Alas, Heinz has a host of significant advantages, including dominant shelf space, a Proustian relationship with our childhood and unlimited money to spend on advertising. The thing is, you can buy Sir Kensington's any time you want to. And when you buy it, that's what you get.
Everything you're working on is an investment in tomorrow. While we can choose to enjoy the process, the end result is always at the end of an arc, always the result of many steps, of earning trust, of building a connection. If you view ...
Seth Godin's riffs on marketing, respect, and the ways ideas spread.