I enjoy what I call the ‘process of business’. That is, I love researching a business, working the mechanics of getting it launched and going. As soon as it gets formed I normally start looking for something else to do, a new business. The recession forced me to dial back my new business starts. Now, its startup time again. Read on.
Over the past several months, with two seriously energetic staff, I have been in one of the most pure startup modes I have ever experienced. Massive Media is one of the companies under the Massive Group umbrella. It has been around for several years now as an advertising sales company for Cayman Airways in-flight magazine, Cayman Airways Skies, published by HCP/Aboard. This, then, is Massive Media’s second startup, so to speak.
The first was, in many respects, like the other businesses I have started. There is an idea, company formation and registration, trade and business licence application and grant, business cards, website, and we are off to the races. This second startup round is completely different.
Did you make it past my last post on the Chromebook? Not my best blogging moment at all, but I wrote it because of a conversation over Christmas, and it resulted in a great conversation this past weekend. Read on.
It’s no secret that I have struggled with my writing lately. Lately being, oh, the last several months. I had a weekly goal to publish my ‘musings’ and I started to slip. A skipped week easily becomes months of no posts.
Over Christmas I was at a party with good friends. Kids dashed everywhere, friends who had not seen each other in a long while caught up with each other. It was a perfectly lovely evening. As I wandered about I started chatting with a lawyer friend. Well, in reality he started chatting with me.
“Why don’t you write your blog anymore?” I really did not know what to say, eventually stammered out something like, “You know about my blog?” My friend said that, yes, he was a subscriber, that he liked my take on things, my writing ‘voice’, and that he had noticed that it had been a while since I had written a post. I was floored. I had no idea that some of what I said here had an impact in a positive or thought-provoking way with anyone, and certainly if it did I never thought it important enough that it would be noticed if I stopped a while. I left inspired to write.
I have been visiting Toronto, Canada, this week placing my son in a pre-boarding academy at his new school. I had 10 days between dropping him off and picking him up so decided to stay here, set up business meetings to try to generate future work and strategy ideas that eventually may help pay for the world-class education he will be receiving. I took a quick look at the cultural events that were available during my stay. When I saw that Ai Weiwei’s traveling exhibit, “According to What?” was on at the Art Gallery of Ontario I knew I had to set aside time to visit. What a moving experience! Read on.
If you don’t know, Ai Weiwei is one of China’s leading contemporary artists. However, that short – almost pithy – definition really does the man, and his body of work, a severe injustice. He is, on a macro level, the consummate social voice of his country. On a micro level, he is an artist, an architect, a blogger, a photographer, a documentary videographer, to name but a few areas of interest he turns his prodigious talent towards. He is, as he summed up in his book of blog posts, a voice of honour against abusive authority and ‘shameless people with one foot in the system and the other out the door‘. “May 14, 2006, As Soon as You’re Not Careful … an Encounter with Idiocy on a Sunny Day.”
Well you’re either reading this because you just love hats or the silly title pulled you in and I have just one paragraph to get you to stay. Well here goes! Have you ever seen a hat with an instruction manual? Well, in a bit of an homage to Canada where I am for about 10 days, let’s talk about the Tilley Hat. More specifically, the brilliant marketing and customer loyalty enjoyed by the brand. Read on.
Tilley Endurables, as the manufacturer of the eponymous hat is nothing is not customer focused. They compete in a space that is seriously crowded. There are dozens of similar products on the market and yet there is something of a mystique about the company that other firms just cannot match for all the money in the world. What is it? I call it authenticity.
The brand is authentic. If there is one takeaway to be gained from the four page instruction manual every Tilley hat includes in the ‘hidden pocket’ it is that a brand can gain global recognition by being authentic in its approach to the product and its clients.
Session #2 of Platform Conference was presented by Michael Hyatt’s business partner, Ken Davis. It was titled, ‘Creating WOW.’ In a field of younger presenters Ken is the proverbial elder statesman, but his topic really resonated with what all the subsequent speakers would talk on.
As an aside, while in Franklin, TN, my wife and I stayed with our longtime friends, the McKeehan’s. Toby is now better known by his stage name TobyMac, but over 20 years ago he was a struggling artist working to get his first band, DC Talk, booked onto shows. Chatting with Toby one night I listed the speakers at Platform Conference. Ken Davis was the name that suddenly jumped out for him, almost his ‘wow’ moment. Toby recounted that one of DC Talk’s early gigs was performing at an event organized by Ken Davis, a booking that Toby remembered he gained through sheer persistence and hard dogged tenacity. Well, DC Talk, and later TobyMac, have gone on to wow many since those early days. Through it all the principles of wow still hold. Talent will get you so far. Contacts may get you a little further. However, it is tenacity, authenticity, openness and a passion for what you do that will see you to the goal. Please read on for my recap of Session #2 by Ken Davis.
Ken started by noting examples of where leaders who really ought to have had more of an imagination ended up making fairly poor predictions. These included: