Categories
business

the thin liquid line

In a crisis, there is a very thin line between crashing and soaring.

Sometimes it’s the industry itself, and that’s not the fault of the company. No airline or hotel business model exactly thrives in a global lockdown.

But outside those specific hammered industries, you can look around at other industries: businesses in the same field either seeing record profits or going flat broke.

Categories
business philosophy

universal basic mug

Money helps people.

Due to many factors – decreased violence, technological advancements, increased education, charitable aid, foreign investment – the amount of poverty in the developing world has decreased drastically over the past few decades. In 1990, over 36% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. By 2015, that figure was under 10%.

Regardless of how the folks got the money, having it is clearly positive.

Categories
business marketing

marketing gurus and backwards ball caps

I have a blanket policy of turning down all sales meetings.

The tricky part comes when you don’t know it’s a sales meeting.

We’d recently announced that Discosloth was hiring. I was looking for a paid search specialist, and it took me a few months to find the right fit. Those few months brought an onslaught of inquiries and emails and phone calls – people looking for a job, people trying to sell outsourcing services, people selling software.

Categories
business philosophy

Lording it

I was sitting in this fellow’s office, and he was absolutely lording it over me, and I wasn’t even sure why.

I’d gotten to know the owner of a small media company in Little Rock, and he’d wanted me to meet his director of production. I went over to the studio, got introduced, and then sat down in the fellow’s office to get to know him.

Here I was, the naive 24-year-old freelancer, confused as heck.

I was just a camera guy. I made websites on the side. I was broke, had a lot of acne, weighed 145 pounds, and just wanted to hang out around some other media nerds. I was no threat.

Yet somehow that didn’t matter – I was fresh meat and this guy was out for the kill.

Categories
internet marketing

control is bred by desperation

Have you ever noticed that whenever a profession is slipping out of first place, tactics get a little more desperate? Whenever something is falling out of favor, and the former experts are getting a little grey around the temples, suddenly there’s a last-ditch grab for control.

I’ve seen it in countless situations. It happened with old-school barbers. It happened with film vs digital photographers. I’m even seeing it start to happen with online marketers.

Here’s how it plays out in real life.

Categories
business philosophy

the landscaping guy vs the product manager

A few days ago I wrote a post over on the Discosloth blog about Shakeup 2.0, and what it’s going to mean to agencies.

I like to prophesy, and like all contemporary prophecies everyone else should take them with a fat grain of salt.

In this case, my musings were about the state of digital marketing agencies. I created a list of 5 things that would be the make/break factors of survival in an economic downturn. For an agency, the winning factors are:

Categories
business

selling their own fantasies

Would you go to the gym and hire a 400-pound man as a physical trainer?

No, of course not.

I wonder about the mentors, the gurus, the life coaches, the business strategists, the financial advisors. They fill my inbox and ring my phone, every single day. I can show you hundreds of my LinkedIn messages proving that these folks can do everything. Increase your sales, wealth, happiness, productivity, peace, health, profits.

Categories
business

pulling the plug

I once worked in a cubicle across from a really nice guy. He was truly a caring, calm, and level-headed person in all regards, and spent most of his time doing work on his high-end desktop.

Back then, computers made noise when they worked, and you actually had to wait for things to happen when you clicked somewhere. A particularly large project locked the computer up. The fan whirred. His cursor froze, an eternal hourglass.

Categories
business philosophy

crippling models

I have spent a good deal of time in the past week speaking with artists about an upcoming book project. After finding a dozen or so artists and designers I liked, I sent inquiries along with specifications. The responses were things like:

  • “I only sell rights for 1-2 years, and after that you must renew in order to keep using the image.”
  • “You must know that I am only a digital artist, I do not design art for covers.”
  • “You must read my terms, and then if you sign my terms agreement, we can move forward to discussing how many revisions and deadlines you will need.”

These are actually portions of responses that I received.

If these methods actually work, it is all well and good. But I suspect things aren’t working quite so well for these artists.

Categories
business philosophy

A loser’s game

We’ve all heard about moving the goalposts. If something isn’t working out the way someone wants, it’s easy to change the goals.