All of us in America are absurdly lucky. We live in one of the most obscenely prosperous nations on the planet. Our government, although woefully financially corrupt, has a wonderful track record of not taking it out on us physically anywhere near as often as other governments have. The vast majority of us not only don’t go to sleep hungry, we also eat 4-6 giant meals a day and fall asleep in a high-tech mattress in a safe and secure home. If you have yet to live in another country and venture out past the “gringo zone” let me assure you that this is not even close to what the heartbreakingly large majority of the planet experiences on a daily basis. I have no interest in causing any untoward feelings of guilt with all of this. It is merely fodder to reinforce the basic tenet that we are: Absurdly; fantastically lucky. Stupid lucky. Like, seriously, stupidly lucky. This past year has been a hell of a year for me and my family. Filled with massive amounts of chaos, upheaval, change, disaster, despair, delight, success, epic failure and massive amounts of luck. Most of the luck has been of the Continue reading Luck : Were You Born With It Or Was It Mabeline?
There is a great deal of myth and legend surrounding the idea of entrepreneurs. Investors love entrepreneurs because we make them lots of money. Of course we lose them lots of money even more often. Employees love entrepreneurs because they create jobs and a culture that is inspiring and exciting. The media loves entrepreneurs because of all of the above and quite often the best and worst entrepreneurs make compelling stories. Stories sell. Entrepreneurs are not normal people. They don’t think like most other people. They don’t think like investors. The whole risk vs reward relationship is horribly skewed in their minds. Rewards burn brighter than the sun and eclipse most risks into dark, shapeless voids. To me the essence of an entrepreneur is questioning everything. Taking nothing for granted and constantly asking why. In today’s startup and entrepreneur obsessed culture there is a lot of founder worship and startup envy. I am at heart an entrepreneur, not because I have started five different companies and had 3 successful exits, but because when I get bit by the bug of a unique solution to a compelling problem I literally can not NOT do it. The bigger the obstacles the bigger Continue reading Can You Hire an Entrepreneur?
Last night I had a brilliant hangout with one of my all time favorite people, mentors and idols, Wayne Rickard. We met for beers at the La Jolla Karl Strauss. We first met way back in 1998 when i started my first tech startup Centripetal to do the first ever Storage as a Service (the original SaaS sorry guys) in a partnership with Level 3 Communications. I met Wayne at one of the many storage world events I attended. Wayne was one of the early founders of Gadzoox the people who invested fibre channel. Fast forward a year and I gave up my startup and left San Diego and moved to the Bay Area to join Gadzoox pretty much because I was so impressed with Wayne that I wanted to be on a team where he was. It was an amazing, glorious life changing time. The glory days of storage and SAN. One of the impressive things about Wayne is his incredibly open mind. Not the “open mind’ political pundits love to romance about, but the actual open mind where solutions to problems are more important than the problem itself. Wayne has the track record to prove his chops and Continue reading The Great And Mighty Why
Not every marketing job is created equally. Sometimes you get the glorious top of the pyramid in marketing land where you have a brilliant story just waiting to be told, backed by a fantastically great product that everyone wants. Other times you are on the bottom of the slag heap. You have no story or worse an actually negative story built upon the shifting sands of a horrible product. There are four levels in the marketing Pyramid of Radness. As you move up the pyramid you encounter more and more radness. As you move down the pyramid you encounter more and more badness. Most marketers like radness. Most customers like badness. Not coincidently as you move down the marketing pyramid towards badness the market size correlatedly increases. There is a nearly unlimited market for poor quality crap matched to slick but baseless stories. Yes Wal-Mart and Coke I am talking to you. H L Mencken (b. 1880) said it best: No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. There is a reason the best quality products are not the market leaders in most markets. Customers want what other customers want. That’s why I don’t Continue reading The Marketing Pyramid of Radness
I had a pretty awesome conversation over Twitter today with some wicked smart people about the topic of social media spam. I saw a post by Leo, the CEO of Buffer. How to Easily Double Your Traffic from Social Media: http://t.co/LovAVFDOwp via @KISSmetricspic.twitter.com/emxpkyN8Q9 — Leo Widrich (@LeoWid) May 12, 2014 Then Adam Singer who works at Google replied that he felt this was a spam posting. I started a conversation with Adam and my friend and superstar marketer Nick Cicero jumped in. It was a spirited back and forth conversation that dived into what is spam on social media, what is the value and benefit of content marketing in general and more. Adam felt the tweet was spam because this was the second time it was posted. @Brewbom it’s spam to me if I see the same link from same brand/person 2x. Spam is subjective. Go ahead & do whatever you want of course. — Adam Singer (@AdamSinger) May 12, 2014 Then Nick jumped in. Since the original post was at least loosely content marketing. @Brewbom @AdamSinger in general most content marketing is regurgitation of the same thing over and over til eventually you Continue reading Just Because it’s Valuable Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Spam.