marketing

A simple Apple “PR vs Advertising” secret

Just before beginning this hellaciously long drive to Alaska, I stopped in a used bookstore to sell 250 of my favorite books (that were too heavy to fit in my RAV4), but in the process, I bought one more: an old copy of Guy Kawasaki’s, The Macintosh Way.

I was going to wait to read The Macintosh Way until I got settled in Alaska, but I’ve had some down time the last few days — waiting out some brutal Canadian winter weather and waiting for new winter tires to be delivered — so I cracked it open.

Tonight, on page 123 — right before some Iditarod sled dogs started barking like crazy at feeding time in the parking lot — I read a few lines from Mr. Kawasaki that succinctly explain Apple’s marketing and public relations approach:

There’s a big difference between advertising and PR. Advertising is when you tell people how great you are. PR is when someone else says how great you are. PR is better. (This is Jean-Louis’ insight.)

This is a page from my book, “A Survival Guide for New Consultants”

It takes a team

“Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence,
and are nothing in themselves.”

Nagarjuna

I mentioned earlier that when you’re building a business, you should hire well, and this is true across every aspect of your business. A “secret” that I stumbled onto when I started Mission Data is that you have to be strong everywhere: Marketing, sales, accounting, the service you provide, and you even need to have a good lawyer.

This is a page from my book, “A Survival Guide for New Consultants”

Networking

“Grasshopper, know yourself, and never fear thus
to be naked to the eyes of others.
Yet know that man so often masks himself.”

From the Kung Fu tv series

I’m a technical person. I was trained as an Aerospace Engineer, and taught myself to be a computer programmer and systems architect. I don’t really like small talk. I’m an introvert, not a networker. I don’t like networking at all. I don’t even like the word “networking.”

This is a page from my book, “A Survival Guide for New Consultants”

What’s your brand?

“My legacy, what will it be?
Flowers in the spring,
the cuckoo in the summer,
and the crimson maples of autumn.”

Ryokan

When you own a business, you’ll eventually think about the question, “What is my brand?” That is, when people think of your business, what do you want them to think?

The brand at every software consulting company I’ve run is this: