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35 posts categorized "Raves"

December 09, 2010

Presentation Rule of Thumb

Prezo_Rule_of_Thumb
SOURCE: ideaSELLING | Sam Harrison

"If you need to explain a slide, you have the wrong slide." - Sam Harrison

December 27, 2008

Cordell asks, “What Inspires You?”

When you give people something to believe, they will come together. And when people come together ... communities will form, love will spread, and movements will happen.

Watch and listen as Greg Cordell, from Brains on Fire, tells the story of The Red Ribbon


RSS READERS ... click here to watch the video.

October 27, 2008

Red Rubber Ball at Work

I’m a Kevin Carroll fan—it’s not hard not to be one. His enthusiasm for unlocking the unbridled playfulness we once enjoyed as children is as contagious as it is important.

Kevin uses a symbol of our childhood—a red rubber ball—as a metaphor for us adults to rekindle our passion for playing.

As Kevin shared in his first book, the red rubber ball represents “play” and ‘play’ is “any activity, topic, or purpose that makes you excited about the day.” Everyone has a red rubber ball. Some of us just need a little inspirational prodding to find it. According to Kevin, “Your red rubber ball is what grabs you by the soul. It’s what captures your imagination. It’s what you do when no one tells you what to do.”

Recently, Kevin published a follow-up book profiling how “play” shaped the lives of notable business leaders. In THE RED RUBBER BALL AT WORK, we learn how the professional lives of well-known chefs, marketers, authors, surgeons, and engineers were influenced by the seemingly childhood games they played as children.

It’s a worthwhile read.

Take a few moments to riffle through some of the money quotes plucked from the introductory chapter to THE RED RUBBER BALL AT WORK. (Once done riffling, get to buying and reading the book.)


April 18, 2008

Piano. Airport. Food Court.

We've come to expect live piano playing at Nordstrom ... but an airport? In the Food Court? That's exactly what I experienced in Terminal E of the Atlanta International Airport. Remarkable!

RSS Readers ... watch video here


UPDATED: The pianist in the video, Michael B, received the Hartsfield-Jackson Customer Service Recognition Award last year for helping to soothe the travel weary with his food court piano playing. Learn more about Michael B on his website.

March 19, 2008

Knowledge Nuggets from Steve Jobs

The March 17th issue of Fortune magazine has a "Good Steve | Bad Steve" take on Steve Jobs. The Good Steve article has chewy knowledge nuggets from him on being innovative, connecting with consumers, staying focused, managing people, and hiring talented people. Good stuff.

on being innovative…
"You can't ask people what they want if it's around the next corner," says Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO and cofounder. At Apple, new-product development starts in the gut and gets hatched in rolling conversations that go something like this: What do we hate? (Our cellphones.) What do we have the technology to make? (A cellphone with a Mac inside.) What would we like to own? (You guessed it, an iPhone.) "One of the keys to Apple is that we build products that really turn us on," says Jobs.


on connecting with consumers…
"It's not about pop culture, and it's not about fooling people, and it's not about convincing people that they want something they don't. We figure out what we want. And I think we're pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That's what we get paid to do.” [MORE]
on staying focused…
”People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve go to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the 100 other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.” [MORE]
on managing people…
“We've got 25,000 people at Apple. About 10,000 of them are in the stores. And my job is to work with sort of the top 100 people, that's what I do. So when a good idea comes … part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people.” [MORE]
on hiring talented people…
"When I hire somebody really senior, competence is the ante. They have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is, Are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself. They'll want to do what's best for Apple, not what's best for them.” [MORE]

January 28, 2008

SENDaBALL SENDSsomeLOVE

A few weeks ago, I wrote an online essay for Brandweek magazine where I referenced SENDaBALL as having an unconventional business service that requires its customers to think before they purchase. (Sending a ball through the mail, with no box ... just the ball. Huh? Really?) My reference included an embedded link to SENDaBALL.com. The other day a surprise landed in my mailbox — a SENDaBALL.

Sendaball

Michele, from SENDaBALL, followed up with an email thanking me after she noticed a bump in traffic to their website from my online essay. Mucho kudos to SENDaBALL. They monitor the blogosphere and acknowledge mentions in only a way SENDaBALL can.

What happens next? I blog about it and I also purchase two SENDaBALLs ... one for my niece and one for my nephew.

January 04, 2008

Kwik-E-Mart equaled Kwik-E-Sales

Kwikemart_2

The Simpsons movie tie-in with 7-11 got lots of digital ink last summer. Marketers, like Jake McKee, raved about it and shared photos galore. Evangelists created a blog about it. Even Advertising Age critic Bob Garfield cooed about it.

No doubt ... 3 out of 4 marketers would agree this movie promotion was a creative success. What about a sales success? After all, sales is the true measure of a marketing campaign.

According to the Wall Street Journal
, the promotion was a sales success.

"The 7-Eleven chain ... saw major sales lifts at the 11 U.S. stores that were converted for the month of the promotion. The company says total merchandise sales doubled; fresh bakery sales increased sevenfold and customer count went up almost 50%.

Moreover, 7-Eleven says the promotion garnered about $7 million in free publicity. The 7-Eleven Web site on July 11 received 10,420,730 hits. The site typically gets an average of about 400,000 hits a day."

October 22, 2007

An Amazing Bookstore

Hey everyone, I'm still out-of-pocket yet I stumbled upon something amazing in my European travels that I had to share immediately...



Picture this. A historic cathedral sits empty in the heart of Maastricht (Netherlands) shopping district.

Selexyz1_2

Now picture this. Selexyz converts the historic cathedral into a bookstore.
Selexyz2

That’s remarkable. So remarkable that I’m remarking about it here. So remarkable Seth is sure to reference this bookstore in a presentation. So remarkable you are going to spend time looking at the photos below and then click on the links to learn more. So remarkable you will remark about this with others.
Selexyz3

>> More information << | >> More photos <<

July 24, 2007

SlideShare 2.0

When SlideShare made its debut last fall, it was touted by many, including me, as being YouTube for PowerPoint. The ability to easily share and embed PowerPoint presentations into web pages mimicked YouTube. However, the inability to also share the audio portion of a presentation made SlideShare less like YouTube.

That's changed now.

SlideShare has introduced its SlideCast feature where you can upload an mp3 file and sync it to your presentation slides. This application is fairly intuitive, but it takes some practice to get the hang of setting your begin/end markers.

Interestingly, SlideShare has posted a YouTube video on how to use their SlideCast feature. (Not sure why this demo couldn't have been done using SlideShare now that audio can be added to slides.)

I fooled around with the SlideCast feature and have uploaded a "talking version" of my Creationist vs. Evolutionist Word-of-Mouth Marketing presentation. Have a look by AND listen by clicking the 'play' button below ...


RSS Readers ... click here to view the presentation

NOTE: My SlideShare presentation archive can be accessed here.

June 26, 2007

Evangelizing Slide.com

I've been updating a blog site chronicling my Mother's journey with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Today I added a photo gallery to the blog but wanted to find a super-cool slideshow application. My searching found many slideshow apps but I'm most pleased with Slide.com. It was easy to upload, arrange, title, and share. "The Ken Burns Effect" of making static images active is what sold me.

Here's what I did in a matter of minutes...

June 25, 2007

iPhone Guided Tour

Iphone

Oh my ... the iPhone looks to be super-complicated. But dang, the things the iPhone can do makes it a game changer. Game changers may not dominate, but they do influence.

This 20-minute iPhone guided tour shows us the future, today.

June 17, 2007

Doritos X-13D

Eric Ryan, co-founder of Method cleaning products, has been quoted as saying … “There is no such thing as dull product categories, only dull products.”

Think the potato chip category is boring? Think again …

Doritos_x13d
photos from flickr

Just when we’ve been lulled to think the potato chip category was stale, here comes Doritos X-13D. In the latest iteration of customer co-creation, Frito-Lay wants everyday people to “Get it. Taste it. Name it.”

We consumers are to buy this mysterious product. Decipher what it tastes like. Then, submit a product name. The winner gets a year’s supply of whatever the name ends up being for the Doritos X-13D experiment.

Kudos to Doritos for flavoring their newest potato chip with some marketing zest.

Can’t find a package of Doritos X-13D? Try eBay.

June 08, 2007

The Surfer’s Code

Sima_surf_3

Last month I participated in the SIMA SURF SUMMIT 10. It’s a gathering of Surf Industry-types involved with the commerce and culture of the surfing lifestyle. As with most conferences, there were keynote addresses, happy hour get-togethers, and sharing of best practices. Unlike most conferences, the Surf Summit didn’t begin at 7:45 am and attendees weren’t dressed in traditional business attire. The day’s agenda began at 1:00 pm so attendees could catch the morning waves. And dress-wise, boardshorts were prevalent while khakis were absent. (Nice change of pace for me.)

For those not hip to the surf and skate culture business, it’s a $5.5B dollar industry that has formed loyal beyond reason relationships with men and women customers of all ages. The aspirational appeal of surfing has fueled much of its growth. While not everyone has access to the surf, everyone does have access to the surfing lifestyle thanks to apparel retailers/brands like Quicksilver, PacSun, Zumiez, Reef, Volcom, Mada, Sanuk, Nixon, and others. Overall industry sales are growing at a 13.0% year-over-year rate which means something meaningful is going-on with the surf/skate culture.

Shaun Tomson, surf legend and surfing entrepreneur, kicked off the conference by sharing the true school mentality of what it means to respect the surfing culture. When addressing the beginnings of the surf culture business, Shaun made it clear that the businesses which emerged in the late 60s and 70s were created by surfers for the sole reason of generating enough cash so they could get back in the water. That’s right … to live in order to surf, surfers created businesses selling shirts, shorts, and other stuff — all for the sole purpose of being able to spend more time catching the stoke from surfing.

To learn more about the true school mentality of surfing and how it applies to personal/professional life on land, you should read Shaun Tomson’s book, SURFER’S CODE: 12 Simple Lessons for Riding Through Life.

Go ahead and dip your toes into the water of Shaun’s book by flipping through this short Money Quotes presentation…

RSS Readers … click here to view the money quotes

May 24, 2007

Deliver Delivers

Deliver_2


Deliver Magazine
mysteriously appeared in my mailbox the other day. It’s billed as “a magazine for marketers” and since I’m a marketer … I reckon it is fitting for me to receive Deliver.

I'll generally riffle through a business magazine that looks halfway interesting. Most times, these magazines end up in a round file cabinet. Deliver magazine didn’t. As I riffled through the pages I found well-written and well-designed articles on the world of customized direct marketing. Have a look for yourself ... download the May issue as a PDF file.


Kristy_and_stacy_2

And while you peruse the magazine online, read about the super-cool direct mail campaign which personalized latte art to include the recipient's name spelled out in the foam (pg. 8). Also read about how Stacy Pita Chips looking to make a name for itself by mailing out packages of product samples to 133,000 women named Stacy (pg. 25).

Oh yeah … this enjoyable and informative marketing magazine is from the United States Postal Service. (Whoa! That's unexpected.)

February 02, 2007

Me Loves the “Wine That Loves” Labels

UPDATED (April 5th):
The Wine That Loves website is now online. And, BusinessWeek (SmallBiz edition) has an interesting piece on Wine That Loves.


For many of us, it’s intimidating to buy wine. Why? Come on, we know the reasons why. Most labels are obtuse. Styles are ill-defined. Pairing wine with food is utter guesswork. And prices can get super-spendy.

It takes an educated person to understand the information on wine labels from the appellation of origin to the grape varietal to its quality designation. Most of us cannot begin to articulate the differences between a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sirah, Pinot Noir, or Zinfindel. Pairing wine with food beyond knowing that white goes with fish and red goes with steak is a mystery for many. And most of us shudder to think of spending $60+ on a bottle of wine we’ve never heard of at a restaurant.

That’s the problem and the Amazing Food Wine Co. thinks they have the answer—easy to understand wine labels.

According to BrandWeek, the Amazing Food Wine Co. is launching a new wine brand called, Wine That Loves. This new wine brand “…takes the guesswork out of pairing wine with food. Thus, Wine That Loves Pizza, Wine That Loves Pasta, Wine That Loves Roasted Chicken, and so on."

Yep, it’s a wine marketing effort designed to make pairing wines with food a no-brainer. Serving Roasted Chicken with a Caribbean-style Mango Glaze... pair the dish with the "Wine That Loves Roasted Chicken" bottle. Very simple, very easy, and quite interesting, eh? Take a gander at the creatively straight-forward label design:

Wines_that_love3


Wine geeks do not like these labels
because details like grape varietal, vintage year, and growing region are not included and those details matter greatly to wine geeks. But this wine isn’t being made for wine geeks. It’s for all those folks who are either intimidated by selecting wines or unable to decipher the language intricacies of wine labels. And ya know what, there are more wine neophytes than there are wine geeks.

While these wine labels take a whimsical approach to communicating wine and refuse to get caught up in granular grape details, it's not like they are absent of information. On the back-side of each bottle is information which will help wine newbies gain a basic tasting vocabulary (tannins, acidity levels, etc.) from which to better describe the wine they are drinking.

So maybe, just maybe, after being introduced to wine with the “Wines That Loves” labels, these wine neophytes will begin their journey to understanding/appreciating wine and ultimately graduate to wine geek status.

Now, let’s hope the Amazing Food Wine Co. took as much time crafting the wine inside the bottle as they did in crafting the label on the outside of the bottle.


BTW … my Dad is a total wine geek. I’m curious to see if he is reading my blog and if he is, he’s sure to have an opinion on this post about wine. After all, he’s the guy with the know-it-all gene which was genetically bequeathed to me. John Moore calling Al Moore, come in Al...

December 22, 2006

MADE TO STICK


NOTE: To learn the gist of MADE TO STICK, read this Brand Autopsy post from Jan. 10, 2007.

Madetostick

Jog your memory all the way back to Malcolm Gladwell's discussion of "The Stickiness Factor" from THE TIPPING POINT. If your mind is already tired of jogging ... then, familiarize yourself again with this excerpt on Stickiness from the book:

"This idea of the importance of stickiness in tipping has enormous implications for the way we regard social epidemics as well. We tend to spend a lot of time thinking about how to make messages more contagious -- how to reach as many people as possible with our products or ideas. But the hard part of communication is often figuring out how to make sure a message doesn't go in one ear and out the other. Stickiness means that a message makes an impact. You can't get it out of your head. It sticks in your memory." [SOURCE]

Gladwell did a great job writing about Stickiness. But, he never really explained, in step-by-directions, how to achieve stickiness. Enter the Heath brothers, Chip & Dan. Chip is a Stanford Prof and Dan is an Education Consultant. Together, they have written what could be the breakthrough business book of 2007 for creatives, marketers, and anyone else responsible for communicating ideas and/or messages.

MADE TO STICK: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die is set to be published in 2007. I've read a preview of the book and participated in a mini-workshop Dan gave last month in Chicago. I became a fan of the book after reading and became an evangelist for the book after participating in Dan's workshop.

I'll write much more on the book next month. For now, whet your appetite by visiting the MADE TO STICK website and add the just-launched MADE TO STICK blog to your RSS feed.

Oh yeah ... Time Magazine pimped MADE TO STICK back in October with this interesting article.

December 01, 2006

800-CEO-READ Creates Community


"Organizations that create customer evangelists often create customer communities. The communities create a sense of belonging for customers, of being a part of something bigger than themselves. Enabling customers to connect with each other and with you provides benefits for all the involved parties. For companies, customer communities build loyalty, provide valuable feedback, and contribute to increased sales."
Creating Customer Evangelists (pg. 55) | McConnell & Huba (2003)

800-CEO-READ (8cr) specializes in selling business books in bulk to companies. But the company doesn’t see itself as just a bookseller. Instead, 8cr views itself as being “in the business of moving ideas.” To accomplish this goal of moving ideas, 8cr does everything to complete the commerce circle by forming relationships with not just publishers, book distributors, and customers but also with authors.

8cr honors the game of business writing by honoring the authors who supply them the business content in the books they sell.

Earlier this week, 8cr gathered 22 business book authors and a handful of industry experts for a two day Pow-Wow of Peace, Love and Business Books. Every author in attendance left a little smarter and a lot more inspired to use business books as a catalyst to share ideas. I felt fortunate to be a part of this community and left the Pow-Wow totally giddy with new friends, new knowledge, and a renewed vigor to make things happen in 2007.

The backside beauty of the 8cr Pow-Wow is that not only did it create a community with us authors, it also created customers for life. Every author in attendance is indebted to 800 CEO READ for helping us to become better at sharing our ideas through our business books and speaking gigs. 8cr endeared itself to us and out of deep gratitude, I will go out of my way to evangelize 8cr. 8cr GAVE and they shall RECEIVE. Dig?

Just think, your business could do the same. You, too, could benefit from further endearing your company to customers, suppliers, and/or distributors. Create an event that will help make customers smarter and more inspired about the business you are all in. Allow your customers to network with each other and to learn from each other. Honor your customers by honoring the business you are all working in. I guarantee that whatever effort you put into creating the event, your company will reap the benefits tenfold.

Expect me to dribble tid-bits from the 800 CEO READ Author Pow-Wow all next week on the Brand Autopsy blog. I met lots of interesting people with interesting ideas and can’t wait to share what has me so giddy.

October 20, 2006

Sharing SlideShare

UPDATED on 7/22/07

David Armano, by way of Steve Portigal, clued me in on SlideShare.

SlideShare is basically YouTube for PowerPoint. Meaning … you can upload PowerPoint presentations and view them slide-by-slide in an on-screen display resembling YouTube. You can also embed the html code to display the slideshow in a webpage (as done below). It really is YouTube for PowerPoint.

Sure, SlideShare lacks the universal appeal of YouTube. But dang … it sure does make sharing PowerPoint presentations online super-easy. Have a try.

The following is a presentation I delivered in October 2006 at the In-HOWse Design Conference about "Growing a Brand. Growing a Team." I simply uploaded it to SildeShare for all to view. Enjoy ...

RSS Readers ... click here to view the SlideShare presentation.

September 16, 2006

Flip-Flops, Mystery, and Marketing

Last year, Reef (a San Diego-based surfer wear brand) introduced a new flip-flop sandal. Ain’t nothing remarkable about that. But flip the flip-flop over and BAM!!!—something worth remarking about. A church key bottle opener! Yep, these flip-flops can flip the top off bottles.

Fanningsandal

According to a recent Adweek article (sub. req'd.), the church key-equipped “Fanning Sandal” has become Reef’s top selling shoe. Curiously, and smartly, Reef has abstained from mentioning the free prize* of the Fanning Sandal in marketing materials, except for a brief mention on its website.

The lesson for us marketers is that mystery lends itself to intrigue. Mystery lends itself to storytelling. And mystery lends itself to word-of-mouth marketing from all us Jane and Joe Schmos.


* In the marketing world, a 'Free Prize' is the added bonus of a product/service which give us something to talk about. For example, the Chrysler Sebring comes with cup holders that keep drinks hot or cold. These temperature controlled cup holders are not the first reason someone would buy a Sebring, but they are probably the first reason why someone tells others about their new Sebring. Dig? Credit Seth Godin for the "Free Prize" concept.

September 02, 2006

Props to MTR Design

I’ve updated and upgraded my online presence at brandautopsy.com with the help of Bulgarian-based MTR Design. Gone is the amateurish arts & crafts web design and in its place is a cleaner, more consistent, and much more professional look. Wander over and have a look-see at brandautopsy.com.

(MTR Design also did the work on my book companion website at tribalknowledge.biz.)

At every turn, Nikolay Nedev and his MTR Design team surpassed my expectations.

October 19, 2005

Mad Money Red Fez

Deckerlightninground_1


Wander over to Sam Decker’s blog for his <<Jim Cramer meets Seth Godin>> Web Site Lightening Round blog posting series. Sam is reviewing websites and offering insightful and actionable advice on ways to improve them. Good stuff … well worth a visit.

October 01, 2005

Re-Marketing THE SHINING

Shining_2

It’s scary how simple editing, a new voice-over, and different music can make something once frightening into something uplifting. Click here to watch an extreme marketing makeover of The Shining.


[Props to Matt Steele for the hook-up.]

September 30, 2005

Stoopid Fun

Brand Autopsy loves it some satire … especially business satire. So for any work-related Holiday party doing a freakin’ white elephant gift exchange this year, I’m bringing STOOPLES: Office Tools for Hopeless Fools. Sure, the book is disposable humor but its worth glancing through because you are guaranteed a hearty laugh and certainly a chuckle from it. Check out these gems from the STOOPLES bogus catalog…

Coffee_ring_stamper


Scenarios
Rubics_cubicle_1

September 07, 2005

Kevin Carroll Interview

Kevin_carroll_4
We've gushed about Kevin Carroll before on Brand Autopsy. And for good reason. His message of passion and play is too intoxicating not to drink it in. And now thanks to Todd Sattersten's interview, I know more about this amazing man. Download now. Listen today. Be inspired immediately. (Don't forget to buy his book.)

You can also visit Kevin's website ... The Katalyst Consultancy.

September 02, 2005

Thanks MTR-Design

If you notice on the left-hand column of this blog, I have links to my Brand Autopsy Marketing Practice business which includes a video sample of my Starbucks Tribal Knowledge presentation.

Nikolay Nedev, reader of this blog and owner of Bulgarian-based MTR-Design, recently streamed my sample presentation video. After viewing it, he sent me a note graciously offering to convert my video to flash. How could I turn that offer down? Couldn’t.

So … thanks to MTR-Design, my sample presentation video is now available in flash.

Here’s wishing MTR-Design much positive juju!!!!!!

MTR-Design.com
Mtr

August 16, 2005

Vodafone Simply Unremarkable

VodafoneThe prevailing trend with cell phones are feature enhancements. A cell phone today comes with a built-in camera, the ability to download/stream video, email capabilities, Internet browsing, kick-ass games, and oh yeah … it can also make phone calls.

However, Vodafone is bucking this trend with its line of Vodafone Simply phones. What’s remarkable about the Vodafone Simply phone is how unremarkable it is. It’s not sleek. It doesn’t play games. And you can’t take pictures with it.

Vodafone is appealing to adults aged 35+ who find current cell phones overly-designed and overly-encumbered with confusing-to-use features. A cool tactic Vodafone is using to inform the young employees at its retail stores about why the phone’s simplicity is a selling point is to lend Simply phones to the employee’s parents to try out. (Pretty cool, eh?)

I just love how unremarkably remarkable these phones are. Unfortunately, they are not yet available in the United States.

SOURCE | Wall Street Journal article | reprinted in the Philadelphia Post Gazette
also mentioned on the Good Experience blog

June 28, 2005

Remarkable & Disposable Shoes

Solemates

Made from recycled newsprint, these remarkable and disposable slippers are eco-friendly and cost less than 50 cents each. Since winning a bronze prize from the Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), Satish Gokahle, the designer of the Solemates, has received interest from manufactures wanting to bring these shoes to market. I so want a pair … or two … or ten of these slippers.

... more on Solemates from BusinessWeek:
In India, it is a tradition to remove the footwear when you enter a house or building. As a host it is a good gesture to offer visitors footwear that is worn only indoors. Solemates is disposable footwear made from recycled newsprint and any other non-laminated paper pulp. It is completely biodegradable. The color is natural and no bleaching agents/chemicals have been used; even the cord and the support tube are made from twisted unbleached paper. Soulmates are an inexpensive and environmentally-friendly alternative for use in hospitals, hotels, software industries, religious places, meditation centers, massage parlors, or on aircraft with long flying routes.

more on Solemates from the Times of India:
Asked about the concept, Gokhale said he saw the need for clean, disposable footwear in hospitals, hotels, software industry, in long-distance flights and other such closed environments, where people have to spend long hours indoors. “Every time you walk into a manufacturing set-up, a software development lab or hospital unit, we are required to remove our footwear. We then wear common, smelly slippers that are unhygienic as they are never cleaned and used by many visitors. The disposable footwear developed by us can be used in these environments. It can also be provided by airlines in long-distance flights and by hotels in their rooms.”

May 26, 2005

Cream of the Crop

Thanks Entrepreneur magazine for citing Brand Autopsy as a worthy marketing blog to read. Kudos also go out to the blog company we keep -- smallbusinessbranding and MarketingVox.

Quick_pick_4
[SOURCE: Entrepreneur magazine | June 2005 | pg. 97 | author: Gwen Moran]

May 21, 2005

Delicious Library - A Tasty Application

It's not as often we Mac folks get a Mac-only application that can make PC users drool... But Delicious Library is one of them.

This catalog software stores a record of your books, DVDs and games on your Mac. But not just in list form... It shows you the book covers merchandised on swanky wooden shelves... It's a neat way to keep track of what books you own. The latest version (1.5) has been built to utilize new features of the latest Mac OS "Tiger."

Here's how it works...

You enter your book information, either by using the search-by-name option or by entering the UPC or ISBN number. What's even cooler, is that you can also scan your items using a your webcam! (It has built-in compatibility with the Mac iSight camera).

Simply place the UPC code in front of your camera and an audible beep indicates your item has been scanned - just like they do at the grocery store with a barcode reader. The next thing you know, your item appears on your on-screen book shelf. (This option is a must for those of us with growing book collections).

'Couple more cool functions... If you loan books out, you simply drag the book (or DVD or game) icon to their name in your address book, indicate the due date and it records who borrowed the book and when. And you can synch your library list on your iPod - pretty cool.

Finally, the feature that made this software worth the $40 purchase... Suggested Reading.

The software is linked to Amazon.com's database. When you click on a book on your shelf and choose the SIMILAR option. A display provides a list of recommended related reading... (Pictured above, this list is to the right of the shelves). It's an indispensable tool for those who enjoy digging deeper into a topic.

PC users... there is a similar product called ReaderWare, but from the reviews I've read it's not as pretty and you'd need to purchase three different apps to manage books, DVDs and games.

A great tool for bloggers and business folk who want a clever way to track your library. Read more about the functionality at the Delicious Monster website.

Enjoy.

April 12, 2005

Resistance is Futile

The_war_of_art_1Guy Kawasaki’s Art of the Start may serve as a guide for starting anything. But ... Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art will help you finish what you started by inspiring you to overcome the self-sabotaging power of Resistance.

After all as Steven writes, “The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.” (pg 12, The War of Art)

If you, like me, are turning your avocation into your vocation, read this book. Don't resist. Read it now.

Further Learning:

  • Excerpts of The War of Art | from stevenpressfield.com
  • Audio Interview | audiomotivation.com

  • January 05, 2005

    Lucky or Smart? Which is it?

    BLOGGER'S NOTE: The following evangelism is 100% genuine and 100% unprovoked. 'Nuff said.

    Lucky_or_smart"The number one killer of start-ups is when entrepreneurs confuse ‘being lucky’ with ‘being smart.’ You must possess the humility to distinguish one from the other.

    Lucky things happen to entrepreneurs who start fundamentally innovative, morally compelling, and philosophically positive companies."

    That’s a snippet from Bo Peabody’s Lucky or Smart? Secrets to an Entrepreneurial Life - an early contender for the best business book of 2005.

    Bo Peabody is best known for co-founding Tripod, a personal publishing Internet site. Since selling Tripod to Lycos in 1998, he has co-founded five other businesses. Bo’s recently published book, Lucky or Smart?, shares lessons he has learned from his entrepreneurial business life.

    In a mere 58 pages, Bo shares compelling stories, gives poignant perspective, and offers a trove of sage business advice that will benefit any entrepreneur and entrepreneur wannabe. (So in this case, size doesn't matter.)

    The premise of Lucky or Smart? is simple … entrepreneurs are not more lucky than smart or more smart than lucky. Instead, successful entrepreneurs are smart enough to know when they are getting lucky.

    I loved his perspective that entrepreneurs are better off being B-students and not A-students. (Hmm … where does that put a C-student like me?) In a chapter titled, “Entrepreneurs are B-Students. Managers are A-Students.,” Bo writes …

    "B-students don’t know everything about anything and are excellent at nothing. B-students, however, know something about a lot of things, and they can complete almost any task with some modicum of success. Entrepreneurs are B-students. There is no one thing they do well. But there are many thing they do well enough.

    A-students, on the other hand, know a lot about one thing, whether it is technology or marketing or sales and finance. And they do this thing extremely well. If they don’t do it well, it bothers them. A-students want to do things perfectly all the time. This is a very bad trait for an entrepreneur, but a very good trait for a manager.

    The most important thing to realize when you’re a B-student entrepreneur is that you need A-student managers. You must listen to them. You have no choice. The good news is that A-students must also listen to B-students, because B-students know about aspects of life and business that A-students know nothing about. While most A-students are really good at one thing, they tend to be completely out to lunch when it comes to most everything else. On the other hand, B-students are really good at being sort of good at everything.

    The sooner the B-students and the A-students understand and appreciate each other, the more productive everyone will be."

    *********************************************************************
    Good stuff, eh? I think so and so does Jack Covert of 800-CEO-READ. Jack recently gushed about Lucky or Smart? So there, take it from us … go buy it ... go read it ... go dig it.

    December 17, 2004

    The Little Red Writing Book

    I’ve been blogging for just over a year now and besides keeping my marketing mind sharp, blogging has helped me sharpen my writing skills. (Or so I think.)

    The years of writing in succinct bullet-points for PowerPoint decks adversely impacted my writing. Blogging, albeit informal in nature, has helped me to improve my writing skills. And as a result of writing more, I’m finding myself using PowerPoint less and less in business situations.

    For those out there struggling, like I did, to overcome the negative side-effects of PowerPoint reliance … I suggest picking up The Little Red Writing Book.

    Little_red_writing_book_1The Little Red Writing book offers 20 basic writing principles on structure, style, readability, and grammar. The book is extremely well-written (as you’d expect), but it's also well-designed. The author, Brandon Royal, gives timeless and actionable writing advice in a compelling manner that comes off as instructional and never pedantic.

    If you are seeking to improve your writing, read The Little Red Writing Book. (Besides, it could also improve your PowerPoint writing.)

    September 21, 2004

    Katalyst Kevin Carroll


    UPDATED | November 29, 2006

    For video of Kevin Carroll, you'll need to visit his Washington Speakers Bureau page. Look under the "PREVIEW VIDEO" header in the right-hand column and click.


    The links provided below to streaming video of Kevin Carroll delivering a keynote presentation are no longer working. I did a quick search online trying to find working links but found nothing. You should also visit Kevin's website:

    katalystconsultancy.com

    Kevin_carroll_3Last month Brand Examiner Paul introduced us to Kevin Carroll, former Nike Katalyst and author of Rules of the Red Rubber Ball: Find and Sustain your Life’s Work. (Click here for Paul's post.)

    It appears Kevin is now a full-time Katalyst delivering inspiring speeches to business professionals showing them how to use “… the spirit and lessons of play to enliven and enrich their work lives, enhance innovation, and improve team dynamics and interpersonal communication.”

    His bio from the Leigh Speaker Bureau reads as follows …

    “Kevin Carroll is a masterful storyteller with a tremendous gift for reaching an audience and awakening the inspiration that lies within people and within the organizations for which they work. Kevin’s presentations have been called life-changing experiences that move you to tears, call you to action, and stay with you in profound ways for the rest of your life.”

    To sample Kevin’s engaging presentation style for yourself, click on the following video streams.

  • Kevin Carroll | CEO Conference presentation | Windows Media | Real Player
  • Kevin Carroll | Presentation at Herman Miller | Windows Media | Real Player
  • (Trust me … this is powerful stuff. Kevin is truly a dynamic storyteller.)

    March 11, 2004

    Is More Less?

    Last Friday, I read an article in USA Today that explored the topic of how Americans are becoming more enamored with CHOICE -- especially as it relates to food choices.

    The article references the myriad options consumers have in choosing between 250 different flavors of Dreyer’s Ice Cream and how Tropicana used to only offer consumers two types of orange juice but now Tropicana offers 24 different kinds of orange juice. Also mentioned was how Starbucks, through mass customization, has more than 19,000 ways it can serve you coffee.

    Can we, as consumers, suffer from having too much choice?

    Author Barry Schwartz thinks so.

    In his book, The Paradox of Choice, he argues that more is actually less.

    According to Barry, the more choices we have can result in “choice overload” because having too many choices “… can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress."

    Barry also writes, “… in particular, increased choice among goods and services may contribute little or nothing to the kind of freedom that counts. Indeed, it may impair freedom by taking time and energy we’d be better off devoting to other matters."

    Do you think having too much choice is too much of a good thing? Because we have so much to choose from, do we sometimes end up deciding not to decide?

    Me? I choose to choose. I am not willing to compromise when it comes to anything and everything I have the power to choose to do. Does that mean that I sometimes spend more time than others would to sift through choices in order to find the one choice that best meets my needs? Yes. You see, I believe choice is what makes life interesting. Without choice, complacency gets the upper hand in life and if allowed to manifest, complacency will obstruct one from achieving the possible.

    Complacency bad. Choice good. Thus, I choose to choose.

    February 25, 2004

    Huh? -- Duh!

    Finally, a marketing agency that is transparent enough to tell prospective clients the truth.
    Our main strategy is to convince people that we do stuff they can't do themselves, and that we deserve lots of money for it. The best way to do this is to always look good, and always sound like we know something you don't.

    If you're still not convinced, we'll show you lots of market research and cost analysis and global positioning strategy reports to confuse you and hopefully convince you that we're so knowledgeable you couldn't possibly succeed without us. Because you can't. So don't even try.

    And get this … they are solutions-focused.
    Our creative team will come up with ideas you never even thought of. How could you? You don't have the talent we do. Don't take it personally. That's our job. That's what we do. We do stuff.

    Most companies like ours just provide regular solutions. Not us. We provide solutions that are revolutionary and groundbreaking. Our solutions are newer than anyone else's, and they sound better because we give them cool titles like "Global Awareness Paradigms," and "Market Consciousness Philosophies," and "Creative Product Re-development Support."

    When we deliver your new business strategies to you, they'll be in really snazzy binders that look nice sitting on big, round meeting tables, so you'll know you got your money's worth. When your project has been completed, we'll give you several follow-up phone calls to give the appearance that we
    even remember who you are or what we sold you.

    Huh?

    Yes, huh?


    Thanks to David Young at Branding Blog for alerting the blogging community to this outrageously funny marketing agency satire website. Just the thing to end this cynical marketer’s day who has endured numerous pitch calls and leafed through numerous pitch letters/documents from marketing and advertising agencies today.