Listening to 10 things we learned panel from 37 Signals

Jason Fried
Photo courtesy of Deneyterrio 

Now I am trapped by the power chords, and must be a wallflower for the next set of speakers. I am very excited about listening to the 37 Signals developments. Below is the live updates on their 10 revelations:

    1. The Great Unknown: Don’t worry about the things you don’t know (maybe he didn’t hear Jenkins?). Who knows who cares... worry about what is happening and not what might happen. Optimize for now.
    2. Red Flags: Things you should pay attention too. Red flag words are words like “need, can’t, easy, only, fast”. These are words that cause things to derail. (I wonder how they deal with clients that use Red Flag words?) Red flags are loaded and can make projects late.
    3. Be successful and make money by helping other people be successful and make money 🙂 I love this one… it is an old school Schipul value and can make the difference between succeeding and failing. I know we lived through the dotcoms….. We did it by producing more value than cost and getting work for our clients. In other words “hunt”.
    4. Target nonconsumers and nonconsumption: Keep it simple. Like Highrise – just want to keep contacts, what you say, and what the next action is. (good for tickets)
    5. Ask yourself questions: Whay are we doing this? What problem are we solving? Is this actually useful? Are we adding value? Will this change behavior? Is there an easier way? What’s the opportunity cost? Is it really worth it?
    6. Read your product: The biggest sin online is “shitty text”. Pay attention to the words.
    7. Err on the side of simple: Start with the easy way. Hmmmm? Things are easy by default we screw them all up. You lose motivation as things stretch out over time. You should resist the urge to do more the next time around.
    8. Invest in what doesn’t change: What will work 10 years from now? What are the things your clients will always want. Customer service, fast service, etc.
    9. Follow the chefs: Build your empire by sharing your empire. There is a huge audience that is listening to you and you get attention from giving yourself away.
    10. Interruption is the enemy of productivity: Talk less and do more. Focus on opportunities for passive communication.
    11. Road maps send you in the wrong direction: Don’t spec things out in advance because they lock you into decisions you may or may not want to do.

    I like Jason’s list. It reflects many of our current values.

      March 8, 2008 at 10:05 pm Leave a comment

      SXSW 2008 Keynote on Saturday with Henry Jenkins and Steven Johnson

      Henry Jenkins

      Thanks Deneyterrio for the photo

      We had a great lunch and now are settled in to the keynote with Henry Jenkins and Steven Johnson. I am hoping the room doesn’t get too dark and the speakers are energetic.

      Here are the main points I took away:

      1. Is the new generation dumb? Parents are getting images from media and also see their kids at some of their worst moments, including fear from new technology. It has created a bit if a panic and only needs an event to kickoff.
      2. Assessment needs to change to take into account “collective intelligence” as opposed to autonomous knowledge. You can see easily that young generations share knowledge and have different diverse experiences that combine to make a collective intelligence.
      3. Real life is about working in groups and learning in groups… Education may need to change to reflect this. (I personally believe we work in groups and targeted groups… but we are still just autonomous with autonomous goals
      4. People aren’t idiots. They are smart, so if they do something dumb dig into the reason.
      5. Which is better… Lost or Wire or Fear Factor? It depends on how you judge the content.
      6. How does the world today find time to deal with the content?
      7. How can we harness the collective intelligence and develop new models that can push us to the next level. We are starting to see signs that we are evolving the way we harness the collective intelligence
      8. Cliche that the young folks are learning to read by getting into Harry Potter, and there are groups of youngsters that are writing, developing content and social networking. Kids are learning to be political and are defending their culture…and they are connecting world wide with technology.
      9. Do they care about the Young Folk?
      10. Do we have a crisis or an incredible opportunity? Is the rash of youngsters starting their own companies, getting involved in politics, etc… a moral crisis or an opportunity?
      11. Youngsters use the word “we” and old folks use the word “I”. Obama uses a “Yes WE can” slogan, and that models society and reflects a “we” generation.
      12. Institutions are not keeping up with the new developments of our culture.
      13. Online games are a new kind of civic connection…. Like the bowling leagues of the 50’s
      14. We are investing in our own social networks. How does civic society and technology keep up and change with the new social development?
      15. The internet is an urban location enhancement device.
      16. is developed to give tools to help you find conversations that are happening right now. (here is a funny conversation topic)
      17. Young Folks have the time and desire to shape our community. How can we give the the bottom up tools they need?
      18. What about the 40% of kids that don’t?
      19. Kids don’t need us snooping over their shoulder… but we do need to watch their backs.
      20. Collective intelligence two differences: Wisdom of Crowds vs Pulled Knowledge from Diverse Influences. Diversity should be valued.
      21. Henry Jenkins rocks. We are moving towards something better!

      March 8, 2008 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

      Suxors Panel on Worst Social Media Campaigns

      I am excited about watching the worst social media campaigns in the Suxors panel. Also, I am embarrassed that I have stretched my power cable across the room, and I am checking a blackberry, and about 10 sites on the laptop at the same time. True ADD.

      Here is the lowdown. The campaigns were done in three rounds of voting for the worst campaigns. Below is the results:

      1. Nominee number 1 is Molson’s campaign for “campus hotties”.
      2. Nominee number 2 is Carlton Beer’s big ad. (I disagree with this one) – basically that the citation to the brand was not done well and no one associates the ad with the brand.
      3. Nominee number 3 is Hewlett Packard and Payperpost ad that wanted a camera. Jarvis says payperpost is a human splog that no one wants to read.
      4. Nominee number 4 is Walmarting across America – Old news.

      And the winner was Hewlett Packard.

      The next group is as follows. Also, I am seeing a trend. Don’t use bloggers to do advertising. Or they will slam you.

      1. Nominee number 1 is Whole Foods CEO posting comments.
      2. Nominee number 2 is Cisco and the “Human Network”
      3. Nominee number 3 is Mentos and Diet Cokes.
      4. Nominee number 4 is Vespa – A mention of Steve Rubel and PR. – Basically Vespa didn’t pay attention to the bloggers and left them abandoned.

      And the winner is Cisco.

      Next round is:

      1. Nominee number 1 is and Subway – it was a viral pitch from the Agency without Subway’s permission.
      2. Nominee number 2 is Target Facebook Group Rounders – not being authentic about who created. Big trend continued – be authentic… be truthful.
      3. Nominee number 3 is Giuliani Campaign. He didn’t setup his social campaigns correctly…. and didn’t get good help, or used the internet to reach the audience.
      4. Nominee number 4 is PSP all I want for Christmas is my PSP. It was a fake blog.Be Authentic.

      And the winner is……

      I am stopping here. The basic trend is be authentic…

      • and don’t be dumb like,
      • don’t lie – it is evil,
      • and don’t try to corrupt or buy a voice. You can’t buy bloggers.

      The overall winner is: Hewlett Packard and PayPerPost.

      March 8, 2008 at 6:04 pm 2 comments

      Knowing Your Audience SXSW 2008

      Here are some quick notes about the first panel I am attending at SXSW 2008 (Knowing Your Audience):

      1. The internet has created huge amounts of white noise for marketing bands
      2. It is hard to find good artists due to traffic
      3. You should find someone that can help you package your presentation in order to maximize your exposure
      4. You should know your message that you want folks to carry for you – you crystalize your message before contracting someone to carry the message for you.
      5. Artists are able to go direct to audience for funding
      6. Suggest finding folks on the internet that are creating their own channels, once you have a channel of over 200,000 people you are advertising to a group of people the size of an average radio station.
      7. Target existing groups that already have an online audience that are fanatics for your genre
      8. There have been no links promoted in the panel so far 😦
      9. Some good math: 1000 fans X $10 is $100,000. And 1000 fans isn’t that many.
      10. It is easier to make money as a music artist now… in the old days labels took the procedes so you made money touring. Now artists are closer to the source of the money.
      11. Organize your listeners to “bum rush the charts” so that you can get a top exposure in places like iTunes

      March 8, 2008 at 4:26 pm 1 comment

      Art History for Geeks and History for Flickr-ites

      All Your Base Are Belong to Us

      Drawn had a cool post that linked to “PaulTheWineGuy’s” flickr set for Understanding Art for Geeks. I had a good laugh at some of them, and remembered the days of “dark room art history slide shows”. So, after remembering the historical influence that gave art meaning….the question that it all got me to was, “What is the social problem that our generation is confronting through the creation of Art?”. I am blank here. Is our art only a reflection of the “antical” nature of our generation… and nothing more? Is it that the social problems are broad and have no dominant theme? What do you think?

      Also on Drawn…. since history was mentioned…. please enjoy some of the photos on Flickr from the Library of Congress. The project is called The Commons… and the purpose is:

      The key goals of this pilot project are to firstly give you a taste of the hidden treasures in the huge Library of Congress collection, and secondly to show how your input of a tag or two can make the collection even richer.

      There are some really great photos like this one: Gravelly Range, Madison County, Montana (LOC)

      Tightening a Nut

      Also, doesn’t this guy kind of look like John Belushi?

      January 24, 2008 at 6:31 pm 1 comment

      Smart Design Software

      I was amazed by this software demonstration. Imagine the possibilities for animation and developing scenarios for objects. Even as a tool to, run experiments for animation, it is pretty outstanding. Also, the ability to draw on the board and have the computer interpret your information is pretty amazing too. I don’t know that I would use it for my current line of work… but I am not sure I really grasp the potential yet.

      January 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm 2 comments

      Will Chuck Norris Blend?

      January 10, 2008 at 5:06 pm Leave a comment

      Minipop – “Like I Do”

      I love Andrew Huang’s animation:

      November 30, 2007 at 7:01 pm Leave a comment

      Have You Had a Good Sales Week?

      I had a pretty good week last week. I wanted to sales dance around the office too… There is nothing quite like the “highs” and “lows” of sales. I think sales dancing is pretty common for most good sales guys. So……

      You should watch the Kia sales commercial is pretty funny. I don’t know if it is as good as Flash beer… .and isn’t totally original. I still like the execution and did LOL when the guy “air humps”. It is worth a play.

      November 21, 2007 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

      The Front Fell Off

      Thanks Javier

      November 21, 2007 at 2:21 pm 1 comment

      Holy Crap

      Thanks Jerri.

      November 16, 2007 at 9:57 pm Leave a comment

      Happy Halloween with Mad Skills from Pumpkin Gutter

      Wow, Charles sent me this awesome site of a guy with mad skills that carves pumpkins. Unless you go to the PumpkinGutter web site you won’t understand what I mean… but just for grins here is a video of a pumpkin he calls “Liberty“.

      October 31, 2007 at 3:11 pm 1 comment

      Never Give Up

      This video of The Miracle in Mississippi shows an amazing amount of effort and execution as the “Trinity players used a total of 15 laterals to take the ball 61 yards for the game-winning TD”.

      Don’t give up. Never give up. I can’t believe that the players didn’t drop the ball. Or that  each player that touched the ball had the intelligence to make a quick and correct decision. It is truly a miracle and an example of tenacity.

      October 30, 2007 at 10:43 pm 3 comments

      Get in the mood for Halloween

      Rankin Bass owns the holidays… here is a little trailer for “Mad Monster Party” to get you in the mood. (via Drawn)

      October 26, 2007 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

      Ford Pinto Cheap Parts that Replace in Seconds

      Jalopnik posts some great vintage car commercials. Today they had a Ford Pinto commercial that contained some pretty funny concepts. Like the ability of a car to have cheap, quick, replaceable parts. Of course it is back from the day when you could replace your own parts.

      In the book, Blue Ocean Strategy, a Hungarian bus maker NABI turned the $1-billion-a-year U.S. municipal-bus industry on its head by building lighter-weight, cheaper-to-maintain fiberglass vehicles… that had lower long-term repair and fuel costs. NABI realized that more money was spent on the operation of the vehicles than on the vehicles themselves.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if someone built a vehicle back to the roots of famous cars like the VW bug, or Model T? A people’s car that was functional, not embarrassing, and easy and cheap to maintain?

      Or, is our own self expression too big of a hurdle for a people’s car?

      Just for fun: here is a link to some nice tables that show costs of new car ownership by category. Check it out and see where you fit in:

      October 25, 2007 at 3:46 pm 1 comment

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