“I don’t really know much about marketing, but…”
- Almost every tech company CEO I’ve every spoken to.
Having worked with dozens of tech company CEOs over the past few years, I’ve concluded that, although most freely admit marketing isn’t their strong suite, most have a voracious appetite for creating buzz, disrupting the market and becoming the next Google, Apple, Dropbox, PayPay, fill in the blank, etc.
Typically, their way to get to accomplish these objectives includes hiring a young and hungry (though usually completely untrained) sales force; hiring a marketing “guru” who will create enough buzz (usually through social media) to make a beehive jealous; and demo-ing their product to anyone who will sit still long enough to participate (usually at some trade show in exchange for a chance to win an iPad, 3D Printer or some other hot device).
At the heart of these perspectives is a DNA that makes them great technology innovators including a relentless focus on creating something new combined with a wild enthusiasm for how their product will bring joy and happiness to the market when everyone falls in love with their creation just as hard as they have.
Sorry. Wrong. Wrong. And Wrong.
Want to learn more?
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Stay Strong. Follow These 13 Rules
A great checklist to help maintain strength in good times and bad…
…real leaders get going.
Trying to get out ahead of the upcoming rush of “Lessons from the ObamaCare Debacle” posts soon to be pouring out of every corner of the blogosphere, here are my five rules for success when the going get tough:
1. Own it. Take accountability immediately. Even if you’re not at the top of the ladder, take ownership as if you were.
2. Set your objectives and achieve them quickly. if you had a part in the problem, you better have a part in the solution.
3. Communicate frequently. There’s no such thing as over-communication during a crisis. Keep everyone affected up to date. This goes for internal stakeholders as well as external partners and customers. This is not the time for more surprises or misalignments.
4. Ignore the noise. In political circles, opponents are going to seize this opportunity to kick you while you’re down. In business, competitors, too, will act on your misfortune. Ignore it. Take care of fixing the problem. Once the storm has passed, then you can formulate your strategy for dealing with competitors and settling scores.
5. Quickly remove people who are not up for the task. During crises, surround yourself with the best talent, the hardest workers and most advanced resources. Do not allow a weak link to unravel the chain that pulls the ship to shore.
The old expression, “Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel,” feels outdated given the meteoric rise of electronic and social media over the past 20 years. So what’s the new version of this old saying? “Never argue with a kid who has 50,000 Facebook friends, 500,000 Twitter followers and knows how to code”?
It’s a free country, so you can post any darn picture of yourself on your LinkedIn profile you want. But, remember, there are consequences… and long-lasting perceptions are formed by visual cues.
1. You with your shirt off (swimming pool, beach, boating, etc.)
2. You on an airplane (we get it. You travel a lot because you’re really important)
3. You with your kids (sorry, save that for Facebook)
4. You on the golf course (LinkedIn is for working. Facebook is for playing)
5. You in a cocktail dress (It doesn’t make you more glamorous – unless your job is to go to cocktail parties, then you get a pass)
6. You on a camping/hunting/RV/4-wheeling vacation
7. You in your car
8. You with a celebrity
9. Selfy from your cell phone
10. You – without you. (at least put yourself in the picture)
Smile… and say “Cheese.”