where-to-invade-next

A Must Watch: Where To Invade Next

Michael Moore is always stirring some political pot. At times he’s not the most liked in his home soil of the United States, but one fact you can’t deny is Michael Moore, love him or hate him, doesn’t mind controversy in the search of truth. Yes he bias, what producer isn’t? Every movie of his you must watch understanding that there’s a hidden bias or else you’re going to take his movies too seriously (Sicko, Capitalism: A Love Story, Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine).

Enter: Where To Invade Next?

This is my favourite Michael Moore movie yet. It has nothing to do with war (though the title seems to make you think so). He visits various countries in Europe and talks to them about Government, Tax, Education, Health Care, Judicial system, food and much more.

Enlightening is an understatement.

Every place he visits seems to be beautiful, friendly people who work great jobs for great wages and have a very important family life. In some places the kids are never assigned homework because social connection and family time is so important to the education system. Two hour lunches with your family, 36 hour work weeks and lots of vacation time. Hard to argue with that!

One of my favourite parts was when Mr. Moore was talking to teachers in Finland (one of the best regarded countries for education worldwide) he asked “what’s the one thing you would tell me to take back and spread across the USA?”. Almost in unison they all said “get rid of the standardized test!” Hard to argue with some of the best teachers in the world.

The Documentary is on Netflix right now and I think you should watch it.

Growth Hacker Marketing

Traditional Marketing is Dead: Long Live Growth Hacker Marketing

Marketing is dead!

Marketing as you know is done. It’s over. We can move on now. The powers of the traditional campaigns, press releases, air time, 30 second spots, distribution lists, the bloody Yellow pages,  and I could go on and on. Its all dead. No one needs to be told what to buy, we Google it. 

What do you do in a world where everyone has access to enormous amounts of information?

You figure out a way to use that to your advantage obviously. What Ryan Holiday does is look at trends, finds curves and tends to fling himself with no holds bar into the edge of business. He’s on the forefront of communication strategy, I mean he could teach several classes at Harvard on advertising, marketing, consumer behaviour, social psychology, just name a few.

There’s something new afoot! Growth Hacker Marketing the term coined in 2010 in an article by Sean Ellis talking about startups and their unique business savy and avoidance of traditional marketing means.

Out of necessity a new a new type of marketing is born, welcome Growth Hacker Marketing

Testable, trackable and scaleable.

The pursuit of sustainable growth. Taking a company from nothing to something.

Under the news laws of the universe (mostly because of the Internet) you can’t use traditional means to get your “brand” out there. At this point you may not have a clue as to what your brand is anymore! Hint: you don’t control it whatsoever. No, growth hacking has everything to do with exponentially growing your organization far past where you ever thought possible. Here it is…

Growth Hacker Marketing

Growth Hacker Marketing

  1. Product market fit
  2. Finding your growth hack
  3. Going viral: turn 1 into 2, 2 into 4 and so on
  4. Close the loop: retention and optimization

Read more

Get Used To Feeling Stupid. It’s a Sign of Growth.

Get Used to Feeling Stupid. It's a Sign of Growth - Julien Smith

I love that quote from Julien Smith.  As kids we don’t care about feeling stupid, we don’t care how others will react, we just approach problems with a clean slate. To a child there are no repercussions, that’s why they use their imagination so much. Somewhere between having a child like sense of wonder, and being a grumpy adult, we lose our imagination. Or as Hugh McLeod would say,

“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”

 

The real world eats away at us, older people are quick to call out ludicrous ideas, and unless they’ve heard about it before they don’t trust it.

School teaches us that being wrong is bad, you should listen to what you’re told, shut up, and sit still. That problem with that is, I’m 28, I STILL can’t sit still, I never do what I’m told and it’s still relatively impossible to shut me up.

So what happened to our world?

In her brilliant Ted talk on why it’s OK to be wrong, Kathryn Schultz tells a hilarious story on how she was wrong about a simple sign on the side of the highway.  But she reminds us that being wrong is fine, it’s a sign of growth. And we can never shy away from sharing how we truly feel. It’s those who are willing to risk being wrong that are going to make a difference in our world.

I coach volleyball, I’m also on the Regina Volleyball Club board as the coaches rep. I had a ball bag of another coaches and she emailed me to leave it in my backyard for her to pick up and exchange for the ball bag she had.
I put the bag in yard and a couple days go by. It hasn’t moved. A week goes by, it’s still there. And this was February in Regina so her bag was pretty much entirely covered in snow before I messaged her asking about why she’d neglected to pick up her bag nearly two weeks ago.

Her response: Jeph, I picked up my bag two weeks ago, I exchanged it with your bag. That’s your bag in the back yard covered in snow.

Me: Well don’t I feel like a horses patoot.

Go on, risk being wrong. And the next time you feel stupid, look at it as a good thing, you’re growing.

Are Newspapers Dying?

WhoKilledTheNewspaper-The Economist

Are Newspapers Dying?

Warren Buffet doesn’t seem to think so, buying up some 60 odd papers in the past two years. He’s not alone either, other billionaires as of late have been splurging on traditional print media companies like Takeru Kobayashi at a hotdog eating contest.

So the obvious question is, why?

Buffett thinks it has to do with a monopoly on local news. People will always need their news, off or online. As long as local Newspapers can focus on the local news he think they’ll be just fine.

Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos’ just purchased the Washington Post for $250 million. From Fastcompany: “Observers were surprised when the Amazon Chief purchased the prestigious-and ailing-Washington institution, but history shows that sometimes buying a media property is like buying a boat.”

So now rich people to show off, instead of buying a yacht, mansion or real estate, they’re buying newspapers.

The Boston Globe was sold to John Henry, owner of the Boston Redsox for $70 million. If you think that’s a lot, to put it into perspective, the New York Times Co. purchased the Boston Globe in 1993 for $1.1 billion. The return on that investment is breathtakingly horrible.

And a little closer to home, the Leaderpost, as of May 14th along with many other of Post Media’s entities have gone  subscription fee after you’ve read your 10th article for free. I’d be curious to see the numbers of people subscribing to the online Leaderpost, again, I don’t necessarily think the Leaderpost is in trouble. People need their news. And people want to trust the source for their local news. I can see the Leaderpost online entity being a very value online publication for little ol booming Regina. As Warren Buffett says, “as long as they stick to delivering local news that readers can’t find anywhere else.”

It’s going to be a rocky road ahead for the Leaderpost, Washington Post, and Boston Globe, Google is set to make more revenue than the entire U.S. print industry combined.

Google Rakes In More Ad Dollars than All Print Media

Image Source: Google Rakes In More Ad Dollars Than U.S. Print Media

Looking at this graph it’s hard not to think Newspapers could be dying faster than we think, that’s trusting that this graph is 100% true as well. 😉

What do you think? Will Newspapers disappear? How would you go about saving them?

The Riskiest Thing We Can Do

From Mitch Joel’s new book CTRL ALT DELETE he uses this quote from Seth Godin. I love it. Being more average isn’t going to get you anywhere. Being like everyone else won’t work. You must be different.

Seth-Godin-Quote-You-don't-win-by-being-more-average-than-other-people-in-your-industry

“You don’t win by being more average than other people in your industry.
You don’t win by being more compliant than your fellow co-workers.
Being more obedient at what you do every day is not going to make you more indispensable.
What makes someone indispensable is that they do something that other people can’t do.
We go to work every day trying to not do that. We go to work trying to be just like everyone else, because that feels safe. In today’s economy, and for the foreseeable future, that’s the riskiest thing we can do.”

For more quotes check out this post here:

17 Lessons (Quotes) on Strategy, Leadership, and Advertising
Best Business & Marketing Quotes of 2012
11 Facts You Need To Know About Your Brain

 

 

 

The Most Difficult Thing to Explain to Someone From the 1950’s

In a recent Six Pixels of Separation podcast, Mitch Joel tells Seth Godin about a question with an amusing answer he saw on Reddit that week.

If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about life today?

If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about life today?

One of the best answers was:

Reddit - I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers.

Really makes you think about how far we’ve come and yet so many people never really use the internet to its full potential.

What do you think?