A great Harley-Davidson motorycle ad: “If you didn’t have to answer to anyone, what would you do?”
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.)
“Don’t worry, it’s just marketers collecting our personal data so they can create more relevant advertising for us.”
I was writing with a friend about Facebook, and realized how much I dislike facebook.com because (a) they don’t let me control my own timeline — not surprisingly, humans don’t like to be controlled by algorithms — and (b) you definitely get the feeling that you’re a piece of meat and they’re trying to sell you. If they were perceived as a kind, benevolent company that didn’t constantly force their version of “what’s important” on people, people might use it more.
Here’s a long read about something most techies know: At Facebook, you are the product.
“Grasshopper, know yourself, and never fear thus
to be naked to the eyes of others.
Yet know that man so often masks himself.”
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.”
“The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here, and you are out there.”
“My legacy, what will it be?
Flowers in the spring,
the cuckoo in the summer,
and the crimson maples of autumn.”
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:
“One day Chao-chou fell in the snow, and called out, ‘Help me! Help me!’ A monk came and lay down beside him. Chao-chou got up and walked away.”
I don’t remember where I first learned this next technique, but I’ve never forgotten it:
Sell the sizzle, not the steak.