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January 2007
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March 2007

Things that go together

For starters, put sales and marketing together.  Now there's a concept.   The ultimate marketing metric "Did they give you money?"   But if you don't converse with your market, they will stop.   So you need to swing between both sides, all the time.   Easy to say, hard to do.

Next combine engineering and support.   It seems to make sense that the people who have to answer the phone also have the ability to make those phones stop ringing.  But someone name a company that is doing this.  I can't think of any off the top of my head.

And talk about productive meetings.  All you need to add to the mix is operations.   Three groups can make a company great.  That's all.


Out of Stealth, Into the Light

This startup company reminds me a lot of hiking the mountain to find good powder.   About half way up, you think you cannot go any farther.  Then you see a ridge with no tracks.  So up you go.  (it also helps when you're with a 25 year old who is trotting)

We went live with our website this week.   It took a lot of work to make it simple and readable.  Next up is a talk with the analysts.   The real key to our business is not our kick butt technology, but rather our business model.  We're focusing on a group of IT business's who only do well Maytag when their customers have no problems (as opposed to break - fix).   Think of the Maytag repairman.  So our business model only works when our customers do well (who in turn do well by their customers).

The problem is presenting this coherently to the analysts.   I really like Kathy's Loveocracy.  That's what we do, but with one more layer.  Problem is, if I threw a slide like that into my presentation (which I would normally do), I'm afraid my co-founders would............  So now I'm coming up with a "business correct" slide, that's professional.   Polished.   Boring. 

Or maybe, I can be edgy and still draw inside the lines.   


Trust Me, I'm from the Government

The Department of Defense is experimenting blowing up tunnels using a 700 ton bomb.   They're doing it at the Nevada Test Site (you know, where they blew up the nuclear bombs).  But we're not to worry because it will be safe.Geiger_counter_2

However in their report:
"Since suspended natural radionuclides and resuspended fallout radionuclides from the detonation have potential to be transported off of the NTS by wind, they may contribute radiological dose to the public."

But really, it'll be o.k. 

The state of Utah isn't buying it.


Horses & Marketing Messages

One of the coolest classes I had in college was "Light Horses & Ponies".   The lab work there was so much better than Organic Chemistry.   You see, at the start of the lab they'ld hand us a halter, point to the corral and say "You see that Bay, about 15 hands?  That's yours."   Then we'ld learn to ride Western, English and Parade riding.  (o.k. getting them groomed after rolling in the mud wasn't quite so fun)

What does this have to do with marketing?   

One thing we learned was how to move our horse into a canter (or lope for you Western types).   But in doing so you either had the horse left lead or right lead. Canter    Even if you had a perfect canter, if everyone else is left lead, and you're right lead, it just doesn't look right.

We're building out our new web site.   We've got great value propositions on both the business and the technology side.  The first pass, we lead with the technology.   Everyone was uncomfortable but couldn't put their finger on it.   As we were going down another rat hole discussion it occurred to me we did a right lead when we should have done a left lead.    And that was the business discussion.

And a word to the wise.  Don't be swayed by comments like "We need to be professional and sophisticated".   As Kathy points out, conversational mode is the best for engaging people.  Maybe you're leading the wrong way.  And that's easy to fix.

[Kathy, bet you've never seen horses and marketing in the same post]