Strange Intersections

January 17, 2007 · Posted in innovation, sharing · Comment 

When I run across someone in a different situation than how I knew them I’m not too surprised. The people I hang around have wide interests and tend to get around. But I had to laugh when I saw that Pirate Bay is hoping to buy Sealand. If you read my blog you know my involvement with BitTorrent, so that is my connection to Pirate Bay. But I also have a connection to Sealand. A friend of mine, Sean Hastings, who was a friend when I was a teenager started HavenCo, a data haven, located on Sealand. But it doesn’t end there. I was looking through Sean’s personal web site and found Noah Spurrier. I was Noah’s boss when I led the development team creating the #1 health insurance billing processing system for the USA at QuadraMed. So its a pretty small world, especially when you get around like I do.

Information Generation

January 10, 2007 · Posted in innovation, sharing · Comment 

This video points out the serious disconnect between the establishment and the generations that grew up with wide spread information technology. There are some very important insights. The moderator, Guy Kawasaki, asked one question several times and was surprised by the answer and couldn’t understand it. Part of the reason is he didn’t know how to ask the question in a way the kids that have grown up with pervasive info tech would understand.

These kids:

  • avoid advertising
  • shop in stores and buy online
  • buy lots of “legal” media
  • “pirate” most of their media
  • instant message a lot
  • don’t watch TV
  • like Apple products
  • use open source, but aren’t geeks

The thing the moderator seems to miss is these kids #1 concern is managing their time and attention. These kids use SMS text messaging because they can politely do it any time and any place. It doesn’t demand attention from the recipient. This is the same reason they use MySpace and Facebook. They don’t have time to personally deal with all their social interactions. The moderator incorrectly assumed these kids are missing social interaction because much of it is not done face to face. This is the exact opposite of the truth. These kids are managing hyper social behavior. They use technology to stay connected with friends and make connections with possible new friends.

How to Reach Kids

OK, Guy, this is what the kids didn’t tell you. They find out about new products from other people. All you need to do is reach an influencer and you’ve started a marketing virus. The best way to do this is make a really great product. The influencers are always looking for something new. This is how they stay cool. The followers will mimic the leaders and if the product is good it will spread. This does mean traditional advertising is dead or dying. The outcome is a better connection between buyers and sellers. If you make stuff that is cool, you become an influencer. Your website, blog, or just conversations will be the source for the next great thing. This can’t be faked, it must be earned. You can jump start your initial recognition by doing something valuable for the influencer market. A funny viral video is valuable because it is funny. Sponsor a band. Go to a blog and ask for negative feedback on your product. Then fix it. And give credit to those that helped you. This is only some of the ways to reach the attention stretched information generation.

Want vs. Need

December 4, 2006 · Posted in problem solving · Comment 

I’m going to teach you something that will change your life forever. It’s very simple and it’s an essential element to happiness, success or just avoiding misery.

If you plan to be successful, fulfilled or just avoid misery an essential step is to understand the difference between Need and Want.

People often use those words interchangeably. But the two words are very different. Beyond a mere level of importance want is different from need.

We all understand want, it’s a feeling. Want is self existent. There is no reason or validation required to want. You want, end of story. Many times our wants really aren’t our but I’ll cover that topic in another article.

Need is what we tend to have the most difficulty with. We have so much difficulty with the concept of need that most people don’t even use it properly in a sentence.

I’m sure you have heard someone say, “You need to clean up your room”, or “you need to exercise”, or “you need to have fun.” Do you realize that none of those are complete thoughts? Do you know what is missing? It’s obvious once I tell you. And when you hear it you will never look at the world the same. Each of those statements is missing the reason.

When you say, “need” or “must” or “should” there is always a “reason” or an “in order to” that goes with it. For instance, “You should clean your room, in order to avoid losing things.” And, “You need to have fun, to be healthy.”

Now think about every time you have said, need, must, should, or ought. What was the reason? Until you know the reason for your actions you can’t determine if the action is correct. How can you tell if what you are doing will achieve the goal unless you know what the goal is?

Action Items:

  • Make a list of the “need” statements you most often use.
  • Add at least one “in order to” for each “need”.
  • Make a list of “need” statements you hear others use.
  • Either, ask others for their “in order to” or try to figure out some.
  • Reassess your and other peoples actions based on “in order to” statements.

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