I first stumbled across this video a few months ago, and I can’t think why I didn’t post it here before. The concept is incredibly simple, stop 50 random passers by and ask them a simple single question, the video is beautifully shot and edited. And if the response at 3.23 doesn’t stop you in your tracks and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, nothing will.
for more videos like these go to Fifty People One Question
Microsoft have surpassed themselves, as only Microsoft can. I never thought my nomination of their Songsmith advert for worst video of 2009 could be beaten… unbelievably, they’ve proven me wrong!
The Windows 7 Launch House Party? At first I thought this was a parody, but no, it’s actually real! Just make sure your diary is full between 22-27 October, otherwise you could end up at a house party, with your IT department!?!?
To see for yourself, check out the website
UPDATE: For a brilliant response by Charlie Brooker of the Guardian and to find out why the Microsoft video is the most shitasmic cultural artefact in history… plus to find out what the hell a shitasmisa cultural artefact is anyway, click here
If you’re trying to sell sushi, you don’t market it as cold dead fish
As I’m a bit of a closet statistics junkie & as these videos have been bouncing around the web for the past 2-3 years, I thought I’d compile a post with some of the best.
Did You Know? 3.0 (Official Video) -2009 Edition
Did You Know 4.0
Did You Know 4.0 (Convergence)
The Social Media Revolution Fad
Did You Know 2.0 (SHIFT 2008 Edit)
I saw this video posted on Mark Kragh’s (Founder of Know Your Planet) Facebook profile this morning and thought what a wonderful example for inspiration… proves that with the right motivation, mindset & determination, anything is possible!
So next time you think something is too difficult or you’re getting frustrated with everything, remind yourself of this video, things won’t seem so bad after all.
and remember if something really inspires you, please use Bernd’s inspiration icon
I always believed and pushed for a flat hierarchy in my business structure… and yes I realise that a flat hierarchy is an oxymoron, but it’s a great way to express my approach to organising my business structure, as the entire thing is built upon respect & trust and not meaningless job titles! (a pet peeve of mine!)
We had a very British contract for all staff including myself, it contained the sentence, “Everyone Makes The Tea” what that meant, was everyone within the business was an equal, anyone & everyone was free to suggest & implement new ways of doing things, but on the flip side they were expected to perform the most mundane tasks, if they saw something was amiss, it was up to them to deal with it, not simply pass it on to someone else, it was all about being pro-active and not re-active.
We started off with a policies & procedures document, but we got rid of it in the end, as it was simply full of rules, thus limitations. I’d sooner have a frame work that everyone can work within, than hard and fast rules of what must and must not be done.
There are the nay sayers, those that say this approach never works, that you will simply end up in chaos (Anarchy is a great thing until you need a plumber!), but I disagree, allowing autonomy to flourish instills a culture of respect for those working with you (not for you), it’s highly rewarding, and you might be surprised with the outcomes!
I don’t think the term “Social Media” is applicable anymore, fair enough it evolved from the early online community sites, but the term now encompasses virtually all manner of web 2.0, blogs, data aggregation services etc, most of which have nothing to do with being social, so it’s much more than a way to connect and send messages and hence be social with your friends.
Plus there’s the so called “Social Media Expert”, but ask yourself, how can someone say they’re an expert in something that is so vast and is evolving and changing so rapidly that it’s almost impossible to keep up. To be a SME is a paradox “The more I know, the more I realise I know nothing”
So I prefer to talk around associated media, or associated connections, as I see the real future of the “Social Media Revolution” will be the leveraging of connections, and not merely connecting you to your friends and what they’re saying but to your “combined” wealth of information, utilising smart connections, connections that are associated to you and what you’re looking for… so rather than you looking for information, it finds you, now that’s a revolution worth talking about!
As I’ve re-quoted before “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital“ Aaron Levenstein
This video makes compelling reading/watching, but read between the lines, there’s more to this than meets the eye, major changes are unfolding in the social media environment, information/data/ID aggregation is becoming the new hot potato, the shift is about linking you to the stuff you want to know in a transparent & convenient way.
For more info & a list of quotes & stats go to the socialnomics blog
Also note Marta doesn’t use the that annoying Social Media Expert moniker, she calls herself a Bonafide Marketing Genius, now that’s a great job title! (as long as you live up to it of course, although reading her blog, it looks like she does)
I dislike job titles (especially inflated ones), I never use one myself, your actions define what you do for a living, not your business card.
If you excel at your work, you won’t require a job title, you probably won’t need business cards either, as everyone will already know what you do & who you are, as you’ll be the person they’re talking about & respect, the person they go to when they need things done really well.
There are times you can put an inflated job title to good use, when you want something to talk about or set yourself apart from the rest of your field, Organic Fusion Engineer is a fun job title I saw on a carpenters business card, I used him because he was recommended, and I’ll always remember the work he did, but I’ll never forget his job title!
I created a blog icon a few months ago and uploaded it to the web, then sort of forgot about it, but I was looking at the site stats yesterday and noticed that on average 20 people a day download the blog icon artwork… OK not exactly a huge number, but that’s still over 600 random Google searches a month, and I wasn’t expecting that! So maybe the idea is a good one after all.
So if you want to see a universally accepted blog icon (and you happen to like my one), then please download it, use it, spread the word by linking to the Facebook page, the Twitter page or the blog icon website. Plus if you’re using it, drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add a link to your blog or website on the site plus the Twitter & Facebook pages.
you should follow me on twitter here
Next time you think someone’s lucky, remember there’s no such thing as luck, it doesn’t exist.
Of course there are those that are born into wealth, survive death defying accidents, born with good health etc, but that isn’t luck, that’s good fortune.
If an opportunity arises and you take advantage of it, some will see that as luck, you were in the right place at the right time, but you know that you’ve likely worked very hard to be prepared & be in a position to take advantage of the opportunity when it arose.
So luck is being prepared & being in a position to take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself, it’s that simple.
I was watching a film the other day and it had the following line…
“A man learns nothing from winning, but the act of losing elicits great wisdom, not least of which is how much more enjoyable it is to win… it’s inevitable that you will lose from time to time, the trick is not to make a habit of it”
I’ve often said that I’ve never made a mistake in my life! OK I admit, that may sound a bit pompous… sure I’ve made errors, big ones! but I’ve always learnt from them, so I don’t see them as mistakes, but as learning experiences.
The day I stop learning from them, is the day I start making mistakes!
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. What branding expert said that? Abraham Lincoln of course???
here’s a great quote, unfortunately I don’t know who said it… “I wish to do something Great & Wonderful, but I must first start by doing the small things like they are great & wonderful”
As I’ve posted previously, don’t become indifferent to your customers or clients, you could lose them not only because you did something wrong, but because you didn’t do enough.
Size really does matter, something insignificant to you, may be all important or a stumbling block for your customer.
These things can be difficult to spot, no matter how hard you look, you won’t find them all, plus you’ll never be perfect, so listen to what your audience is telling you, and if they’re not telling you anything, ask them! don’t fool yourself by thinking their silence is because you’ve got everything right, it’s probably because they’re already looking somewhere else.
And make sure you’re asking the right questions, don’t ask, “Is everything OK?” ask “What is wrong & what could we improve?”, don’t ask “Why would you choose us over a competitor?” ask “Why would you choose a competitor over us?”
So, what’s the f’in diffference? Is it the little things? the small stuff? yes… but it’s the small stuff you don’t see and has to be pointed out to you, like the extra “f” in the word difference, that’s the f in difference, don’t expect to find them all on your own.
In my Digital Brand Protection days, I had a presentation based around ROI, but it had a twist, as on the last slide I revealed I hadn’t been referring to “Return On Investment” as everybody thought, but “Risk Of Investment” that got their attention!
Upon jumping back & going through the presentation again, the audience understood exactly where I was coming from & the importance of what I was saying. Don’t get seduced by only looking at the high returns, weight up the possible costs of damaging your Brand & reputation, especially if you are aligning yourself with another brand.
There are times you have to take the risk and go with your convictions, that’s where RONI comes in “Risk Of Not Investing”. Seth wrote a great piece this morning that’s entirely about RONI.
Yes, absolutely, you could lose everything if you risk it all and go with your gut feeling, but you could still lose everything if you do nothing. If a competitor is hell bent on pushing forwards when you’re content to sit still, don’t be surprised when they win.
“You can never defeat a man, with nothing to lose”
So go for it! what have you got to lose?
I like to think of myself as an opportunist, I’ve always taken risks with my career or livelihood, although I’m the opposite in my personal life, where I’ve usually played it safe.
This is partly due to my personality type, INTJ’s know what they’re good at, but thankfully we’re astute at knowing what we’re no good at!
I’m always trying to encourage those I see potential in to give it a go, to have confidence in themselves, to say yes why not, rather than maybe or no. I believe it’s better to say yes first, then say no later if it hasn’t worked out as planned.
But I need to start taking my own advice in my personal life! I’ve had the most amazing opportunity walk into my life recently, and I realise I need to take full advantage of it. I have to stop playing it safe all the time and start taking those risks that I have no problem taking in business.
I have to start saying yes!
Having a strong opinion is fine, as long as you respect those of others, there’s no buts about it!
I see your point and…
Is the glass half full or half empty?
Optimists will say it’s half full
Pessimists will say it’s half empty
Whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist, it makes no difference, you still have half a glass, and that’s all you’ll ever have, unless you take action to change things. If you’re not going to do anything about filling it, stop fooling yourself, as it’s time to get a glass that’s half the size, as a glass that is full to the brim is always better than one half full or half empty.
So next time someone asks you whether your glass is half empty or half full, be an opportunist… ask them for a top up!
Google said they’d have something interesting to demo at the Google IO Dev Conference, oh boy they weren’t kidding… Hello to Google Waves!
The Video below is 1.5hrs long, but it’s worth a look, as this will change everything. I’ve been harping on for ages about data aggregation & building open platforms without walls, with API’s for developers & third parties to leverage & integrate with (just like our plans for no paper & ID Gator), well Google have just stepped up to the plate with all their might and done just that… it all works in standard HTML5 & it’s all Open Source Code!!!!
Email, wiki’s, instant messaging, realtime inline document collaboration & creation, blogs, image & rich media sharing, polling, mobile and other stuff I’ve forgotten to mention can all be handled & integrated by Waves.
The way you use Twitter, Facebook, MSN, Skype, Blogs etc is about to change forever, no more proprietary software, no having to log into a specific system to access & update your data, connect & interact with colleagues etc Waves passes all that and allows you to do it from whatever system you want.
Want to connect with everyone you know on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, AOL, Google, MSN etc without logging into Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, AOL, Google, MSN etc, with Waves you’ll be able to do that.
Why is this so powerful & something that the likes of Facebook should be concerned about? Well you’ll be able to get all the interation of Facebook & connect to all your friends, without ever logging directly into Facebook again! So you never look at their main revenue stream, their adverts! I was writing a blog a few days ago (didn’t get round to fininshing it), where I was saying that Facebook’s biggest threat isn’t from someone like Myspace, Twitter or Google… it will be from the parasites, the small third parties that feed off & leverage it’s systems, these guys can easily create revenue streams that Facebook can’t (or is missing), Google has just made that job easier with Google Waves.
So why would Facebook (or those like Facebook) integrate Waves? Simply put, they will have no choice, the users will want it (see an old post for what I mean)… already Facebook has opened it’s walled garden with Facebook Connect, if Waves could take hold & it’s protocol become the de facto way to collaborate, they’d have no choice but to open up & integrate it… it will be interesting to see if Google actually push this, or like so many of their ideas, invest loads of time in developing the initial idea, then let it stagnate and die… which is a great shame, as it’s only the likes of a giant like Google that could take on the likes of Facebook… which is something they should be bear in mind in reverse, as Facebook continues to amass it’s user base, it will become a force to be reckoned with in Google’s market space, “Search”, for as Amazon has proven, it’s personal recommendations that lead us in purchasing decisions, if Facebook taps into our friends recommendations and “likes”, then we’ll start our searching in Facebook, not Google. A possible future with a Facebook and Bing alliance could cause Google reasons to be concerned.
I was in central London the other day, I was in no hurry to get to my next destination, but it started to rain, so I jumped on a bus. After a couple of stops I noticed a tourist having a hard time getting on the bus. His English was fine, he knew where he wanted to go, he was on the right bus, he had money to purchase a ticket, yet he couldn’t get one!
Why? because you can’t purchase a ticket on this bus, you have to purchase it before you get on. So here is a guy that is willing to pay for a service, he has the money in his hand, he’s willing to hand it over in the most logical way, directly to the driver, the guy offering the service, but someone, somewhere (more than likely a bean counter) decided that it would be more efficient & save time, if consumers pre-purchase their tickets, thus freeing up the driver’s time & making the schedule run more effectively. But that’s no good to this guy, he has to get off, find a ticket machine, purchase a ticket then get back on, this process takes more time, so the driver decides that waiting isn’t an option and drives on, leaving this guy behind as he purchases a ticket!? Not a good scenario, the driver could have waited, he didn’t, he had a schedule & job to keep, the passenger could have purchased his ticket beforehand, he didn’t, but he didn’t realise he had too. So who’s to blame, the driver, the passenger, the bean counter? The answer is all of them & none of them!
You could argue that the passenger should have read the signs & bought a ticket, or that the driver should have waited, or that the schedules should allow for this, or that the bean counters shouldn’t get involved in the first place, and you could come up with plenty more reasons, but essentially this approach doesn’t work for a simple reason, because it’s been designed to improve bottom line & efficiency for the bus service & not effectiveness & convenience for the customer, do the latter & you’ll have more passengers than you can handle, which is good for business & something you can solve, so that’s a good thing!
Another example is the incredibly useful & easy to use iPhone app MyRail, that gives real time rail time tables & automatically locates your nearest station using the built in GPS. But it doesn’t work anymore, not because the software is broken, but because National Rail Enquiries has stopped the app accessing their database. Why, who knows! So rather than allowing me to use an application that is easy to use and convenient for me, with the sole purpose of allowing me to know what time the next train is so I can purchase a ticket. They would rather I logged into a website that doesn’t work on most mobile devices, and when it does make it so tricky & time consuming to get the info I want, that I’ve missed the train, so decide to jump in a cab instead!
This example is madness, why aren’t they looking at the bigger picture, the opportunities are their… if someone wanted to leverage your business or offer a service to your customers that you’re not offering, don’t stand in their way, embrace the fact with open arms, they’re helping you sell your product and they’re servicing your clients where you’re not. If someone is that much of a fan about your products don’t stop them, encourage them, you’ve more to gain than lose!
I just read that one of my favourite authors, JG Ballard, has finally succumb to prostate cancer (15 Nov 1930 – 19 Apr 2009). Having written such greats as High Rise, Concrete Island & Empire of the Sun (with the last having been made into a film by Steven Spielberg). He wrote a huge amount of short stories, with the majority of his work revolving around the subject of modern dystopia, with even the term Ballardian being entered into the English Dictionary to describe such work.
His last short story is available to read online here
For more about JG Ballard follow these links.
Have a meeting you need to get out of? Want to show off your new mobile or ring tone? Need to convince people that not only your mother & call centres have your mobile number? Have a blind date you just might need rescuing from? Or simply low self esteem & just want someone to call you?
Well fear not, as I may have found the answer for you… Popularity Dialer
The concept is simple, enter a date, time & your mobile number, then choose the type of call you want and hey presto, the website calls you when you’ve specified!
Ah the wonders of technology… ooops gotta go, phone’s ringing, now I wonder who that could be?
OK let’s be honest here, the packaging Pot Noodle comes in tastes better than the contents, and I don’t think their new Kebab flavoured Pot Noodle is going to improve things, but the advert made me smile!
If you’re a real consultant you appreciate that you’re clients are the experts in their area of business, not you.
Listen to what they have to say, understand their needs, focus on their problems.
That way, your solution will be a reflection of their needs, not a projection of your ideas.
‘Power’ is derived from position. ‘Authority’ is derived from title. ‘Leadership’ is derived from behavior.
James R. Davis
If you have a hard task to do, give it to a lazy person, as they will always find the simplest way to do it with the least amount of effort… now that’s genius!
It depends on your name, your offerings, your products & your services. Sometimes the name says it all ie: “Spit ‘n’ Polish Cleaning Services” doesn’t need much else, they’ve already said what they do in their name, while “Sparkle” would benefit from something like “Cleaning That Dazzles!”
In the second example, you don’t know whether they’re a cleaning service or a product, but that would be obvious from the setting, in a shop, you know it’s a product, on the uniform of someone cleaning an office, you can assume they’re not promoting the products they’re cleaning with.
A really good strap line can become more memorable than the company itself, sometimes evolving into the collective psyche to become a generic term that’s unforgettable, but at the same time you can’t remember which company created it. A few months ago I was driving behind a truck, I cannot remember what the company name was, but that doesn’t matter as I’m not their target audience, but I’ll never forget their strap line, plus I knew instantly what they did. It wasn’t a glamorous profession, they emptied sewage & portable toilets, but, the strap line was humorous, simple, direct, explanatory & above all unforgettable, want to know what it was…
We’re Number One In Number Twos!
This post was originally written on the 1st April, but I couldn’t post it until today, and believe me, it’s no April’s Fool.
Today is the 1st of April… the dreaded “R” word raised it’s ugly head today, no not recession, the other one, redundancy. I heard from two more friends, that they were made redundant today, both have been with the companies for a number of years and neither were expecting to be called aside.
Are they taking it badly or personally? thankfully not, both are up beat about it, of course they’ve heard the same thing from everyone, “Oh it’s the best thing that could happen to you” etc, mmmmmmm, no not exactly, winning the bleedin’ lottery would have undoubtedly been a bit of a better day, but then again, it’s only a job for crying out loud, it’s not as if somebody has died. Yes I agree, you have to look at the positives in these situations, the slate is clean, there’s no obstacles, there’s nothing stopping you getting on with all the things you’ve been putting off for ages.
I too realized that things had to change in my office today, but I’m in a different position, I’m a company Founder, so one of those that gets to decide who stays & who goes, (although trust me, that’s no privileged position, it’s not easy making those types of decisions, or nice telling someone), but we’re doing OK at the moment so there’s no redundancies on the cards, but even still someone had to go, and that someone was me!
I’ve too many other things on the boil, I can’t give my all to Cordovan at the present, so it would be unfair to all those that have worked with me the past decade for me to continue in my present capacity, so I’m stepping back. I’m not stepping down, I’m simply stepping back, I’m still sitting on the board & actively helping where I can (or is that interfering where I can), but I’m out of daily operations, it was a hard decision, I’ve spent 10 years building the company, but I’ve also spent the last couple of years ensuring it could function without me… it can, there’s no doubt in my mind there, if there was I wouldn’t step back, they’ll be fine.
It’s not easy letting go, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it’s the best thing, my focus has to be somewhere else now, there’s interesting times ahead, but I’m looking forward to the challenges, standing still would be boring, and that’s really not me.
You can’t be in two places at the same time… but with social networks that’s not exactly true anymore, in fact, you can be in several places at once, but what happens when “You 1.0” no longer exists, what happens to “You 2.0” when you shuffle off this world for the next (if that’s your belief). The majority of social networks don’t address this issue, in fact they try not to think about it, as it’s a lot of hassle for them, but it’s something you should seriously think about, not for you, as let’s face it, unless you’re a Buddhist & you’re going to log into your account again in 20 years time with a strange sense of deja vu, it’s not something that’s going to affect you directly, but it’s something that will affect your friends & loved ones, in both a negative & a positive way.
Having your images & your words spread out across the web as a constant reminder of You 1.0, could be a nice momento, but on the flip side it could be a continual reminder that you’re gone. As morbid as it may sound, it’s worth considering now, when you have the opportunity to think about what happens to You 2.0 when you’ve moved on, and not just your online social networks like Facebook & your blogs etc, but your online bank accounts, utilities, subscriptions etc without those passwords locked away in your head or on your computer’s password keychain, how do your loved ones access, alter or cancel these facilities.
We all know the loops & hoops we have to jump through ourselves and how we feel as though we’ve been treated as suspected criminals when we forget our own passwords or log in details for some online service, imagine what it’s going to be like for a loved one to try logging into one of your accounts with nothing more than your name!
As I say, Your ID Matters, but when you’re gone it may matter even more!
Chilling out on a sofa with a cheap bottle of red & a good woman, or a good bottle of red & a cheap woman?
Answers on a post card please ; )
On Triiibes the other day Chris Hopf from Pricingwire.com asked a really good question… “If you had only two sentences to share your most valuable business advice, what would those two sentences be ?”
“Do well by doing good… it’s not about doing the thing right, it’s about doing the right thing“, keep to that and you can’t go wrong as far as I’m concerned.
As to a life philosophy, “Value unity, not uniformity. You can walk hand in hand without seeing eye to eye on every issue”
Revolution vs Evolution?
Revolutions stand out, they get noticed, people talk about them, (they’re remarkable so to speak), but not everyone wants to be part of a revolution, they’re dangerous, noisy, violent places, where people get hurt… the old guard want to keep things the way they were, they’re happy, they’re comfortable with what they have, they’re probably making a lot of money too, so will do whatever they can to keep the status quo & squash the rebels.
Evolution on the over hand, happens without us really noticing, it’s something we grow into, it’s a way of life, even the old guard, with their affection for the status quo, are evolving, things change no matter what, the telegraph, land-line phones, the internet, TV, mobile devices, convergence, web 2.0, they’re all seen as revolutions, but really they’re all simply evolutionary steps in human communication. So why do you need a revolution? maybe your tactics should be a revelation, get the old guard aligned to where you want to go, to understand the benefits, the change then becomes irresistible?
So evolution or revolution, the end result will be the same, it all comes down to how quickly you need (not want) things to happen.
In a recent post on Triiibes someone wrote “You Suck” as the title then went into how you shouldn’t be complacent & that there’s always someone out there, bigger, better & faster than you.
This may well be, but beating yourself up and thinking you’re a pile of crap, isn’t a good approach or that productive, although on the flip side, bigging yourself up as the King of the World, ain’t doing you any favours either.
If everyone thought they couldn’t take on those bigger, better & faster, then nothing would ever change for the better. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.
We all use social networks in different ways, some for work, some for play, some for play while at work!? No matter how you use them, you’re going to meet someone that uses the same network differently. The two networks getting most press coverage currently are Twitter & Facebook, both of which have very different ways of connecting you to others on their networks, both having advantages & disadvantages, so you need to use them in very different ways.
Facebook’s greatest advantage is only letting those you know hear what you’re saying, while Twitter’s greatest advantage is allowing anyone to eavesdrop your conversation, so Facebook is connecting you with people you already know, Twitter is connecting you with people you want to know.
One way of looking at it is, Twitter is a night club, Facebook is a house party, so be careful who you let in
What if Facebook was real?
Concentrate on the problem, not the solution, when you fully understand the problem, the solution will come.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be thinking about the solution or perfecting it, but unless you really understand the problem you’re trying to solve, how can you perfect a solution? you could be working on the wrong stuff.
The problem with problem solving is the problem, not the solution.
We’ve all been there, sitting in a meeting wondering “Why am I here exactly?”
If you’re asking yourself, what’s the point of all this, what’s the outcome? Then your meeting will be a complete failure (for you at least), so stop now! Don’t confuse the purpose of an agenda, it isn’t there as a check list for you to tick off what you need to discuss, it’s there to be a guide to what your outcomes are.
Don’t start a meeting without clearly defined outcomes, or letting everyone know what they are, as you’ll be wasting everybody’s time, and never finish a meeting with a list of things to discuss next time. Your outcomes need to be actionable and most of all, actioned… and if having a meeting will stop you or anyone else getting things done, don’t have a meeting, sitting around talking about things won’t get them done!
They say, “Those that do, do, while those that don’t, teach.” there may be some element of truth in that, I don’t know, but I say, “Those that do, do, while those that don’t, have meetings.”
Something must be in the air, as within a couple of hours of writing my piece above Seth releases this (or is he reading my blog?)