Archive for October, 2011

Corporate Branding: The Denny’s Brand

Monday, October 31st, 2011

What does the Denny’s brand mean to you?

To me it means “the place my wife doesn’t want to go.”

That says a lot, doesn’t it?

Check out this TechCrunch post: The Entire $1.65B Acquisition Of YouTube Took A Week, Was Negotiated At Denny’s

I’m guessing that was the largest business transaction that was negotiated at a Denny’s restaurant (happy to be corrected on that one). What a moment of pride, right?


Steven Chen YouTube founder and super-rich guy, said, about deciding where to have these secret negotiation meetings:

“We didn’t want to meet at offices, so we were like, ‘Where’s a place that none of us would go?’”

Ouch. Probably need to scratch that one off the Denny’s Accomplishments brag sheet.

Franklin Covey, WIGs, 4 Disciplines of Execution

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

My new sales guy turned me on to the bottom-right video on this page, asking what our 2 or 3 main goals are.

Not more than 3.

Not 20.

Just the top 2 or 3.

This 17 minute video is amazing, brilliant, and a must-watch.  I have pages of notes on it.

Watch it here (bottom right video titled What are the 4 Disciplines).

Branding and Understanding

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Last week I got an email from someone who used JibberJobber to help organize her job search. She gets that part:

“I appreciated your presentation, your tips and your enthusiasm. I used Jibber Jobber during my 7 month job search. It is an excellent tool and I enjoyed using it.”


Then, she said:

“I started a new job on October 3.”

Uh oh. This is usually where they say “I’m good now – see ya later!”  I’m thrilled when my users get a job, whether they use JibberJobber or not, but I dislike how so many put their career management on hold while they have a job :(

But Colena GOT IT.  Instead of breaking up with JibberJobber she wrote:

“Having attended your presentation, I now have a reason to continue using the tool even though my job search has ended.”

Let’s go back to the title of this post: Branding and understanding.

I want people to use JibberJobber to help them navigate (organize and manage) their job search.

However, many people somehow miss the idea that once they land a job, they could be unemployed fairly quickly, and they need to do stuff, like grow and nurture their network, and work on their personal brand.

The JibberJobber brand clearly conveys that JibberJobber is a tool for job seekers.

Does it stop there?

For many people, it does.

The understanding of JibberJobber is that it is for active job seekers.

But there are others who use JibberJobber as a relationship management tool:

  • happily employed professionals who know they need to be ready for a transition, even if the writing isn’t on the wall
  • unhappily employed professionals who are worried about a pending transition
  • freelancers and contractors who might have a day job, but also have outside clients they need to keep organized
  • Authors who are interested in self-marketing (since the publishing companies don’t do it for them), and recognize the value of a relationship management tool
  • Small business owners, like myself, as well as professional speakers (like myself!)
  • Songwriters, who recognize that getting a hit song depends on your ability to network, as well as your talent,
  • and many others…

Job seekers see one facet of the brand, and they understand some of the potential, thinking they understand all of the potential.

This is a HUGE issue for all companies… companies who have clients who don’t “get” what they do.

This is a HUGE issue for job seekers, who have branding issues.

How do YOU help your clients/audience understand your brand, your offerings, and your value?

This question can help your job search end faster, or help your company grow bigger.

Ignore it at your own risk.

101 Alternatives to a Real Job, Bees, Speakers

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Wednesday night I was listening to the great Mark LeBlanc speak to about 50 professional speakers on how to “grow your business.” More on that later.

I normally don’t day dream, but at the break I had a conversation with Brad Barton about making money as a beekeeper. I asked him how much money you could make, and his answer surprised me. I was excited to include it in my new book, 101 Alternatives to Real Job.

When Mark LeBlanc started up again, I let my mind wander to a future visit with Brad’s family.

I imagined that I was with his kids, we were dressed in beekeeper suits (the kind the bees can’t get through), and someone had a video camera. I thought it would be cool to actually get some video of me for one of the chapters… somehow a few bees got in my suit and started flying around, and I got a few stings.

It was kind of comical, and a bit scary (this is one of my I DON’T EVER WANT TO BE IN THIS SITUATION scenarios), and I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing during Mark LeBlanc’s presentation…

Ah, the mind! It’s a beeeeeautiful thing :p

If I never would have been born…

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

A few days ago I was talking to my seven year old daughter, telling her the story of a time when I could have died.  (she likes the story, and requests it often)

She said, “wow Dad, I’m glad you didn’t die.  If you died, we wouldn’t be here!”

I said, “yeah, mom would have married someone rich, handsome and a good singer!”

She says, “DAD!  You are that!”

“I’m what?” I ask…

Her reply: “You are rich!  You own your own company!”

Yes I am.  Very rich :)

Freemium Models: Must Read

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

I am doing some research on freemium models, and specifically the upgrade page (technically, I’m looking for design ideas to enhance the “user interface” (aka: UI)).

I came across an excellent must-read post for anyone who thinks they want to do freemium, written by John Greathouse, who was involved in the precursor (?) to GoToWebinar  (BuddyHelp). I can’t find much info on BuddyHelp… but hey, that was internet eons ago.

Anyway, John writes How To Make Freemium Customers Generate Revenue For Your Startup. Go read it, as he seems to have identified a lot of pitfalls that you can avoid.

Competition Sucks. Or Does It?

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

When I started JibberJobber, there really wasn’t any competition.  I’d get on the phone with a career center and they’d say “wow, that is brilliant!!”

No one had heard of a relationship manager just for the job seeker (job search CRM).  It was novel.

That was good and bad… bad because I had to educate people on what it was.  Job seekers didn’t immediately get why they should use such a heavy duty tool.

Then, I got my first competitor.

I have to say, I hate competition. I hate losing, and I hate having to compete.

But everyone said “competition is good!”

I thought “I’d rather not have any competition.”

This week, by Tuesday morning, I had learned of TWO new competitors in the job search CRM space.  One is ____ and the other is ____. (nope, not going to link to them :p)

Are these two competitors going to be good for the space?  For our clients?

Who knows.

Before they came along, over the last five years, I’ve seen about 9 others come out.  I refer to them as “me-too” plays.  They mimic or copy JibberJobber.  One even got a software team to develop accounts on JibberJobber so they could rebuild what we had.

Two of them are now out of business.

They couldn’t figure it out.

Another one, I’ve been told, doesn’t “get” the job seeker. I heard that from a user of mine who started using them.  They don’t “get the job seeker like I do,” I was told.

Is that my competitive advantage?

No, but it might be a component of it.

Competition – good or bad?  I don’t know.

But I do know this: I have a window of opportunity, and it will only be open for a period.  I have to take advantage of that, because when it closes things are dramatically different.

I saw that with my last company.  We tried, the window closed.  End.

Not this time.

I know a song that gets on everybody’s _____

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

My five year old daughter couldn’t stop singing this phrase over the weekend:


How cute is that?

She also calls an ear worm a “head worm.”


One day a great song came on the radio (I don’t know which one) and she said “TURN IT! TURN IT!  That song gets stuck in my head!”

I said “oh, that’s called an ear worm… when you can’t get it out :)”

Taking one word from her description and one word from my description, she said, “I don’t want a HEAD WORM.”

Love it :)

Gem: Scott Heiferman’s $20M Lesson

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Every once in a while I find a gem that is hiding in plain site.  Here’s one I read this morning on a TC post:

… Heiferman jumped back into the startup scene with RocketBoard, a project he describes as “a colossal failure and actually we blew through about $20 million dollars of AOL money.” The silver lining? Heiferman received advice that sticks with him to this day—create products to help the greater good of society.


Sounds too simple, but if Heiferman “spent” $20M to learn it, and he remembers it for an interview, that’s good enough for me.

What are you doing for the great good of society?

Diabetic Emergency Kit

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

I’m working on my fourth book (I know, I know, I swore off books after the first one!), which I’ll announce shortly.

As I research, and read the news, I like to find stories of people who find a problem and figure out a solution that can go to market.

That’s exactly what Jennifer Lindley did.  She’s a diabetic, and has a son who is diabetic, and was concerned about what to do in an emergency.

In a local news article she says:

Someone had used spray-paint to emblazon “DIABETIC” on the rooftop where a group was stranded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“It was a really hopeless, helpless feeling for me,” Jennifer Lindley said about seeing the image on the news. “I didn’t know what to do for him.”

These kits are what she came up with:

I love how brilliant this is.  Combine Utah’s “thing” about emergency preparedness (it’s a theme I don’t see as prominent outside of Utah/Idaho) with a HUGE, HUGE need we have around the world, and you get a simple solution that is affordable, and can help set your mind at ease. Learn more about her product here.

Why do I love this?

Because I’m looking for ideas where you and I and regular people like Jennifer Lindley can CREATE our own income, independent of a boss.

Kudos, Jennifer!