Archive for August, 2012

Classics, Human Nature, Four Basic Instincts, and YOUR PRODUCT

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

I’m reading some stuff in preparation for a course my wife and I are taking, and a section in this particular article reached out to me:

A knowledge of human nature is the key to leadership. There are four basic instincts which all humans have:

  1. Survival, security and a sense of personal control. A sense of self.
  2. A desire for relationships, connectedness, social mobility. A sense of being connected.
  3. Adventure, excitement. A sense of challenge.
  4. To gain meaning, to know self, truth and God. A sense of belonging to something bigger

When I read that I immediately thought: How does JibberJobber address any of these?

More important, to influence human nature, does my product (specifically, JibberJobber) touch on any of these?  Would addressing any of these instincts impact the success of my product?  Could I use any language (or concepts) from these instincts in my marketing material?

All valid questions for a business owner, entrepreneur or marketing manager.  And perhaps even for a job seeker.

Here are some immediate thoughts on each of the four, and my product:

1. … a sense of personal control.  Job seekers LOSE this sense of personal control when they lose their job, which causes a loss in income, stability, self-worth, identity, and more.

JibberJobber SHOULD help them regain some sense of personal control.  They might not be able to control how a hiring manager, company or recruiter acts, but they can log it and feel they are “on top of” their search.

2. … a sense of being connected.  Right now JibberJobber isn’t very social, but things might change in that area… :)  Would the changes help job seekers (and non-job seeker users) NEED JibberJobber more?

3. … excitement. A sense of challenge.  Like job seekers or entrepreneurs need more challenge… right!  How can JibberJobber give them a sense of challenge?  Maybe by offering challenging daily tasks to the users?  Like “Call three people today,” and of course log it in the system, so it is measurable.  Perhaps this can be summed up weekly, monthly, etc. to show the accomplishments.

4. ….A sense of belonging to something bigger.  If JibberJobber’s mission and vision is to change the world by empowering people in their careers, and helping people through inevitable transitions, and change how people think about these transitions… can my users participate in this movement?  If so, they can have ownership in this bigger picture.  It’s not just about their current transition, it’s about helping people suffer less because of the way “jobs” and “careers” have changed.

Fun to think about… now time to get to work on communicating this in the right places (which is much more than on flyers, business cards, email signatures, etc.).  This has to become a part of the product.

Awesome Entrepreneur Read: Mark Cuban from Shark Tank

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

I LOVE Shark Tank.  There is something to learn from every episode, every pitch, every question the Sharks ask, and even the reactions of the contestants.

I’m a fan of Mark Cuban, even though I don’t know much about him.  Here was my first indepth exposure to his history, in his own words: Shark Tank & Success & Motivation.

After reading Paul Allen’s memoir this last week, this was like icing on the cake.  What an amazing time in history!

Mark, thank you… for staying up late and reading those manuals.  Pure awesome.

How To Sell More Books

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

I’m starting to get geared up for the next book release… here are two posts I thought were interesting:

HOW TO LAUNCH A BESTSELLING BOOK (Michael Hyatt) – really, really good information about what it means to be a bestseller, etc. Honest, awesome.

25 ways to generate better online book sales – lots of details, lots of technical stuff. Mixing the author’s expertise of SEO and book publishing.

How The Government Can Create Jobs (Steve Gallison)

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Steve Gallison is a great thinker. I have worked with him on various projects, spoke for his group of candidates in Maryland, and roomed with him at a conference.  He’s a class act.

I asked on my JibberJobber blog what people are reading, having been inspired by Paul Allen’s memoir, and he responded with an awesome, awesome, awesome comment, including this:

How does a leader create more jobs than the competition?

By creating more customers.

Almost no one knows this.

Keep in mind that no business is trying to create jobs.

They are all working all day and every weekend to create new customers. New customers are the real goal of a nation.

Because jobs always follow customers.

Too few leaders have this figured out and it is at the very core of our failure to fix this seemingly colossal American problem.

To create authentic, organic, real job growth — not pretend jobs made by government — city and country leaders need to focus on customers.

I’ve long lamented the fake jobs… and LOVE the idea of creating customers.  Isn’t that right?  A company with customers hires more people.  More people employed means those people can be customers of other stuff.

A government-funded company, like Solyndra, without customers, does not create jobs.  It only wastes hundreds of millions of dollars, dashes hopes, causes a loss of faith in the government, and reaffirms the proper role of government.

Lance Armstrong: Debacle of a Situation, and Handling Crisis with Class

Friday, August 24th, 2012

I’m not a cyclist… I like bikes, and I have a nice one, but that’s about it. I haven’t really ridden on my bike this year, but I hope to before the weather turns.

I’ve known and heard about Lance Armstrong for years, of course.  He’s a power.  He’s a machine.  He’s a master on the bike, and from the little I’ve heard, I think he’s a gentleman and a cool guy.  (of course he’s cool, he lives in Austin, where being cool is a prerequisite)

I know he’s heavily involved in giving, giving back, charity, and all-things-to-end-cancer.

Yesterday I was amazed to read the headlines about him being accussed of doping.  More, I was amazed that they were going to strip his 7 titles, and today’s headline: “banned for life, career vacated.”

Sad, I thought.  Amazing.  I wanted to call a cyclist friend and ask him what he thought of it.

Today I read Lance’s official statement.  This is a case study in how to react to crisis.  This is the type of message I want to read from politicians and other leaders.  This is one of the most classy responses I’ve ever seen, and I love the maturity and message:

Lance Armstong’s Statement of August 23, 2012

I don’t know the history. I don’t know about the other dopers and the losers and the accuser and the USADA and Travis Tygart.

But Lance’s response, and his message, and his focus, resonate.

I’m a fan… hopefully not misplacing my trust, but I’m converted.

Like a good neighbor: When your insurance company kicks you in the teeth

Friday, August 17th, 2012

This post is long overdue.  It’s been brewing for over a year (since around March or April of last year).  I haven’t written it yet for various reasons, but unfortunately I just read an article on the news that brought back all the bad feelings.

That means I’m mad right now, and I shouldn’t write when I’m mad, but I’m going to anyway.

Check out this nasty article/story about Progressive insurance: Progressive insurance on defense after court case.

In a nutshell, a lady died, Progressive was supposed to pay the family because of an insurance policy, but they went to court to try and save $75,000 by blaming the lady who died.  In court it was decided that it was not her fault, even though Progressive tried hard to make it seem that way.  Luckily blog posts have a way of getting out into the public the way that media should. I think this is the link to the blog post.

Disgusting.  

It reminds me of The Incredibles, when Mr. Incredible worked at an insurance company and got fired for doing what was right, and within the contract.  I heard from someone who worked in insurance that standard policy was to reject claims twice, for no reason at all, before they would do anything with them.

Disgusting.

Last Spring our good neighbor insurance company sent us a nasty letter saying that on July 1 our auto coverage would be discontinued. I seriously thought it was a mistake.

After a few phone calls I learned it was NOT a mistake.  There were two distinct reasons we were getting let go. According to them, either of the two was cause to be let go.

The first and main reason they said we were getting let go was because we had too many claims.  We had six claims in about a year (I’m not positive on the timeframe).

The 5th (I think) and most significant turned out to be a $30,000 accident (more on that later). The rest?

Two calls for a locksmith. I’m guessing this cost less than $100.

One windshield replacement.

NOTE: When we called our agent’s office to ask about these, they bent over backwards to encourage us to get a new windshield, and THEY called the locksmith for us.

We had NO idea there was a tally to keep track of the “incidents.”  They said we had six incidents in a way that made it sound that a locksmith call carried the same weight as the $30k accident.

Another of the six was a “fender bender” at a credit union parking lot.  Unfortunately the other lady involved submitted a claim for a dent, and was paid for it.  The only thing was that my wife got pictures, which we emailed to our agent, and there was NOTHING to repair.  I think she took her car in, got claims for OTHER dents, and submitted it.

Guess who got stuck holding the bag?  Our insurance company dinged us, even though we had pictures to prove it was a fradulent claim.  They could care less.

So, that was their big claim: we had too many claims in too short a period.  3 were meaningless and very cheap.  One was fradulent (by the other party).

When I pressed this issue with my agent, who was super awesome at selling insurance (but turned out to suck when representing us to his company), his next big argument was the big $30k accident.

It was clearly a business decision, he said, and how could we expect to pay in just a little bit but get $30k of value from them?

EXCUSE ME????

My understanding is that is how insurance works. You pay money, and if you need to file a claim, they pay out what is right, and according to the policy.

You know those minimums and maximums they say they’ll pay?  That’s what I expected them to pay…

Well, they did pay the $30k (or whatever they paid)… and then sent us the nasty letter breaking up with us.

My wife calls them the “paper plate insurance company” because once you use them you have to throw them away.

How very disgusting the insurance industry can be.

Even though we had about 16 years of NO claims… a very clean record…

I’d be hard pressed to go back to that good neighbor… I’m sorry for recommending people to them, and I’ll never recommend them again.

Lie: “If you build it, they will come.”

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

In most cases, most likely the case of YOUR business, or YOURSELF (if you are in transition), you can’t rely on this phrase that I think was made popular by the movie Field of Dreams.

Your stuff might be that awesome.

But no one will know about it, or care, until you invite them.

And the “invitation” will take more work than you think it should.

Awesomeness isn’t always apparent.

You must invite them, sometimes repeatedly (think:nurture and followup).

You must also think WIIFM = What’s In It For Me (them).  In other words, you have to let them know WHY they will love it, think it’s awesome, want to come, etc.

I’ve seen many startups fail at marketing, because they think the product speaks for itself.  I thought my resume spoke for itself.

What to do?

Pick up the phone.  Write the emails.  Reach out to them, invite them, and develop relationships.

Some of the relationships I started 6+ years ago, when I started my business, are finally seeing what I want them to see… six years later!

Gmail and “Googlemail” scammers….

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Be careful what you click on!  It’s easy to “trust,” but please be cautious.

I put arrows at every obvious red-flag in this very short message.

Google would never send an email like this… you can tell it’s fake and fraudulent by any of the many mistakes below:

Note most of the red-flags are in the actual FROM email address.

If you mouse over the link, it takes you to a horrible URL that is clearly not from Google… another huge red flag.

 

Brilliant Speaker: Watch and Learn

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

This guy is really funny… I like his style.  There are a number of things he’s doing in here that a good professional speaker could emulate.

Looks like he is a pretty current blogger :)

 

Brilliant Idea on Leadership: How To Start a Movement

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

This is brilliant… watch the whole thing.  This should be shown in college classes on leadership.