Borrowing fame

Recognition and loyalty

In the future, I want to commit to making this blog more and more about dispensing loyalty and recognition to others.

Zabar's delicatessen represents so much of what I love about New York. It's a symbol more than a store. It turns out the most recent heir (of many) to this family business is also a Columbia Business School student. I feel even more connected to this company. 

Read more here


May as well post to the blog. Or not.

Dave Winer was one of the first bloggers, and he doesn't take it seriously. Just words. May as well put them out there. So I guess I'll keep doing it, just as he does. 

Scripting News: Blogs are little things, 2019-Oct-11 by Dave Winer

I know what a blog is, behind the scenes. It isn't a place. It's just a few files on a server, very small files, and a few database entries perhaps. The reason companies like Automattic and Google host blogs for free is that's how much it costs to host one a blog. It really is of no consequence.

You imagine that your blog is lonely and angry that you're not visiting, but that's purely a figment of your imagination. The blog doesn't exist in any corporeal sense. It has no thoughts or feelings. I doesn't give a shit if you live or die, because it doesn't have an ego, it doesn't care about anything. 

Replace walls and safety nets with bridges and launch pads, says John Hagel

Recently John Hagel, Co-Chairman of the Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation, recommended we stop talking about walls and safety nets, and instead focus on bridges and launch pads. So here goes!

Here are some places to learn more about bridges: 

U.S. State Department's web page on U.S. Relations with Mexico

University of Texas at El Paso Department of Sociology and Anthropology (border studies)

Border Cantos art exhibition by Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (site from closed exhibit)

Learn about different kinds of Launch Pads: 

Event Tech Live's Launchpad platform for start-ups and new technology

LaunchPad teaching platform for child development

LaunchPad Houston self-development program

LaunchPad residential program for addiction recovery

Edge Perspectives: Images Matter - Shaping Our Current Social and Political Discourse, 2019-Feb-11 by John Hagel

If we hold a fixed mindset about ourselves, we’re likely to hold a fixed mindset about society and the resources that are available to it. On the other hand, if we hold a growth mindset, we’re more likely to see the opportunity to create more and more impact and value as we cultivate the resources available to us and find ways to expand them.... 

Here’s where images matter. Walls and safety nets focus on the threat and the need to protect what we already have. What’s the alternative? I suggested above that perhaps we should shift our attention to bridges and launch pads.

What do these images suggest? Bridges are about connecting areas that were previously separated – they’re about bringing people together. The underlying belief in building bridges is that we’ll benefit from connecting with others that we couldn’t previously reach. They focus on the opportunity created by connecting people.... 

The mindset when confronting adversity should be how to use it as a growth opportunity to accomplish even more, rather than simply going back to where one was. Imagine what we could accomplish if our programs and initiatives to help people in trouble were designed to help them get to even higher ground rather than just returning them to where they were.

Another benefit of the launch pad image is that it doesn’t just wait for people to fall and then catch them. Launch pads could be for everyone, especially the marginalized people in our population who never had the opportunity to begin with. They haven’t fallen – they never had the opportunity to get up in the first place. What would happen if we were committed to create launchpads for everyone? 


How Prime has helped make Amazon into everyone's competitor

I find it hard to believe that Amazon's growing power will not create negative side effects for consumers. The purpose of "locking in" is to enable exploitation. First, the competitors are eliminated, then the customers are trapped. Government regulation is a normal, but not inevitable, response. 

Hacker Noon: A Map of Amazon and Modern Marketing, 2018-Sep-11 by David J. Carr

Perceptual Competition changes customer expectations. It means you set the bar regardless of whether your product or service competes in the category in question. Building on great customer experience it creates a meaningful and distinctive brand with cultural relevance, esteem and saliency. Occasionally it can involve the odd Super Bowl ad. The result is greater mental availability for your brand, driven by broad reach, emotions and associations — effectiveness not just efficiency. 

Amazon’s position as a dominant Perceptual Competitor is reflected in its $1,000,000,000,000 market value and a brand value of $207.6 billion. It is a result of selling not just low priced products with excellent customer service, but “the thing it has always sold the most — to investors, customers, the media — excitement.” Perceptual Competition means competing on brand experience rather than CX, and Touchpoints ROI Tracker studies show that this is increasingly a better indicator of market share success than spend or share of voice.... 

Prime’s ability to funnel new ideas to loyal customers drives growth and innovation.... By combining an aura of innovation and novelty with a simple subscription Amazon can generate more customer, investor and media excitement than a Costco membership.... The Whole Foods takeover offers Prime members better prices, more omnichannel opportunities to buy and pick-up, a stronger health assortment and a last mile delivery boost. It also offers non-Prime customers a very prominent real-world demonstration of what they are missing.... 

Ultimately the forces of experiential and perceptual competition that Amazon has unleashed on marketing and its value chain have helped create an “expectation economy” that brands and businesses must navigate to survive.


Purpose = behavior, as David Allen and Neil Perkin remind us

Articulating a company's purpose may or not be a good idea. What's essential is acting with purpose. One of the things I like about David Allen's Natural Planning Model, which I keep in my notebook at all times, is the first point: 

"Why is this being done? What would "on purpose" really mean?"

Only Dead Fish: Personalising Purpose, 2017-Dec-1 by Neil Perkin

A powerful purpose can be a hugely motivating call to arms for staff and create exceptional competitive advantage, but this only really happens when employees don't just see the words on the walls of the company reception, but see it in the actions of the people and leaders around them and actually feel connected to it. The real value comes from connecting with hearts rather than minds. ... 

One of the simplest ways to do this is to put your people in front of customers and for them to actually talk to them rather than read about them in research reports or observe them remotely from behind a screen in a focus group lab. That opportunity to hear directly about the impact (good and bad) of what you're doing creates the kind of unique connection with the work that can't come from anywhere else.

So many businesses talk about being customer-centric, so few leaders actually get out of the office and meet with real customers.