“For a long time I’ve had this idea running around in my head that truly successful product companies find ways to “productize” everything they do. Products, after all, are far more scalable than process, which requires constant training and reminding (as new people come on board you need to train them on your process). We talk to clients about this idea when it comes to creating social content and using Percolate, and we try to live what we preach as well.”—Great post by Noah.
“While tomorrow is my first day with Percolate; on reflection Percolate and its amazing people have been intersecting with my life for the past 3 years and what Percolate intends to do has been around my life for the past 10.”—Really excited to have Tyler on board. Crazy to think about how Tumblr made it all come together.
The shift in marketing approaches can’t compare in historical magnitude to the changes brought about by the automobile and the industrial age, but the analogy provides an instructive framework for thinking about how to solve big questions. While history looks in awe at Ford’s imagination for modernizing transportation, his real innovation came through his use of systems that augmented humans’ ability to produce new goods. Instead of looking to the past for an answer, he created an entirely new system to build the future.
If you are a brand thinking about the challenges of the age of social media, start by asking yourself, “What is different now than in the past and what are the tools that we have at our fingertips?” If the answers make you feel as if you are treading into territory never documented before, that’s a good thing. As many have noted, the biggest mistake we make in a new medium is mirroring the process of an old one.
The awkward self-quote from an article I wrote in AdAge. Outside of hiring and meeting clients this is what I spend most of my day thinking about.
“There are too many complaints about society having to move fast to keep up with the machine. There is a great advantage in moving fast if you move completely, if social, educational, and recreational changes keep pace. You must change the whole pattern at once and the whole group together—and the people themselves must decide to move. (Margaret Mead Time Magazine 1954)”—I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot lately. I really like it. More on Margaret Mead here.
“When I was first at Facebook, a woman named Lori Goler, a 1997 graduate of HBS, was working in marketing at eBay and I knew her kind of socially. And she called me and said, I want to talk with you about coming to work with you at Facebook. So I thought about calling you, she said, and telling you all the things I’m good at and all the things I like to do. But I figured that everyone is doing that. So instead I want to know what’s your biggest problem and how can I solve it. My jaw hit the floor. I’d hired thousands of people up to that point in my career, but no one had ever said anything like that. I had never said anything like that. Job searches are always about the job searcher, but not in Laurie’s case. I said, you’re hired. My biggest problem is recruiting and you can solve it. So Lori changed fields into something she never thought she’d do, went down a level to start in a new field and has since been promoted and runs all of the people operations at Facebook and has done an extraordinary job.”—Sheryl Sandberg’s Full HBS Speech: Get On A Rocketship Whenever You Get The Chance - Business Insider
“By constantly questioning, probing and wondering ‘what if’, curiosity becomes the catalyst for change, breaking down otherwise ingrained and embedded constraints. It is the impetus to creativity, innovation and disruption. And this is the value of curiosity. Its potential is vast.”—Curiosity Under Constraints | Blog @ Percolate
We need to let robots take over. They will do jobs we have been doing, and do them much better than we can. They will do jobs we can’t do at all. They will do jobs we never imagined even needed to be done. And they will help us discover new jobs for ourselves, new tasks that expand who we are. They will let us focus on becoming more human than we were.
Let the robots take the jobs, and let them help us dream up new work that matters.
“The Japanese have an expression, hara hachi bu, which means, roughly speaking, “belly 80 percent full.” Hara hachi bu is shorthand for an ancient injunction to stop eating before feeling full. Nutritionally, the command makes a great deal of sense. When people eat, their stomachs produce peptides that signal fullness to the nervous system. Unfortunately, the mechanism is so slow that eaters frequently perceive satiety only after they have consumed too much—hence the all-too-common condition of feeling bloated or sick from overeating.”—State of the Species | Charles C. Mann | Orion Magazine
Thank goodness for Percolate, a small but fast-growing company that recognizes that marketing on the “social scale” requires content, content and more content, but only if it passes the relevancy test. Through algorithms, filters and other tools, Percolate scours the web and serves up content tailored to my specific areas of focus that I can review and easily share.
I’m grateful for and a tiny bit envious of this start-up. I marvel at how its founders quickly spotted a need and last year created a company that has scored a slew of clients and, in November, $9 million in funding. Besides that, everything this company does is on-brand, from its business cards and its Daily Brew email to the—yes–perkiness of its staffers.
“Claiming to have been born in 1906, Pierre Jean Buster Martin was a 104-year-old beer drinking and chain-smoking marathon runner. He did not include fish, dairy, tea, or water in his diet. Buster smoked since he was seven-years-old and followed a diligent regimen of beer, cigarettes, and red meat. In 2008, Buster successfully finished the London Marathon. When Buster was not training for marathons, he cleaned vans for Pimlico Plumbers in southeast London. On April 12, 2011 Buster finished work, had a beer, and went home. He died that night, at age 104”—How to Live Forever - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“My agency is no stranger to this, either. For example, we started to see that the creative process and its business model were breaking down the deeper we got into social media. Constant, timely asset creation was mandatory but did not work within “normal” digital operational or financial models. We could not create assets intelligently, creatively, quickly or inexpensively enough to be as effective as we believed we needed to be. So we had to re-imagine and re-invent a significant part of our business to adapt, and our Moment Studio was born. And it, like us, will need to be in a constant state of flux. And frankly, both will always have a long way to go, because we are in the service business, a highly competitive space with downward pressure on margins and rising expectations for leadership. We have accepted that we must remain nimble enough to re-invent other areas of our business in our quest to be the best, and the best option for our clients. That means striving to be the best at disrupting ourselves. The only way to be well positioned for the future is to accept that it is uncertain and to structure your organization as one that is self-disruptive. The only certain part of the future for agencies is that we will continue to get consideration for our most commoditized services. You should not be OK with that.”—Why Agencies Are Not OK | Digiday
“Nevertheless, these arguments are potentially more intellectually coherent than the ones that propose that the race is “too close to call.” It isn’t. If the state polls are right, then Mr. Obama will win the Electoral College. If you can’t acknowledge that after a day when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swing-state polls, then you should abandon the pretense that your goal is to inform rather than entertain the public.”—Nate Silver On Who Political Pundits Who Are Mostly Entertainers - Business Insider
“The counterculture is aging fast and starting to die. The best counterculture now is in biology. As far as I can tell, biohackers are all adventurous young people, incredibly athletic, and they’re all traveling the world. I don’t know if biohackers are as much fun as the computer hackers were, but they’re way more responsible. They monitor their own potential misbehavior in a way that computer hackers never have.”—Futurist Stewart Brand Wants to Revive Extinct Species | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
Percolate is a New York-based startup that helps CMOs manage all of their social media content and it suggests content for them to blast to their followings.
In the past six months, the team of 22 people have signed up 25 Fortune 500 companies. Now there are more than 30 corporations paying for yearly licenses to use Percolate. Brands including Reuters, GE, American Express and MasterCard, and they are each coughing up $10,000 per month.
When you add it up, that’s more than $3.5 million per year, which isn’t bad for a startup that’s only raised $1.5 million and isn’t even two years old.
“I realized that the reason I’m still in New York, the reason that I’m not moving back to Austin (or anywhere else for that matter) is because New York is difficult, and right now, I need some difficult in my life.”—Choosing Difficult « flutterings of a changebird
“McLuhan describes the “content” of a medium as a juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind. This means that people tend to focus on the obvious, which is the content, to provide us valuable information, but in the process, we largely miss the structural changes in our affairs that are introduced subtly, or over long periods of time. As society’s values, norms and ways of doing things change because of the technology, it is then we realize the social implications of the medium.”—Was reminded of this McLuhan quote today. First sent to my by Noah. I think it is one of the most important things to keep in mind when studying the internet.
Enjoyed this post from Asymco. Almost wish he didn’t choose the iPhone as the example product given the comments de-evolve into something not related to the article.
Some good nuggets from it.
Disruption theory has taught us that the greatest danger facing a company is making a product better than it needs to be. There are numerous incentives for making products better but few incentives to re-directing improvements away from the prevailing basis of competition.
It’s easy to see over-service in the rear view mirror when looking at a multi-year pattern. The trouble is that by the time you see the data, it’s too late. How do you tell you’re on the cusp of good enough, subject to imminent disruption before you get there?
I consider measuring a product’s absorbability to be a marketing problem. The marketer’s job is to read the signals from the market. Determining absorbability comes down to reading two market signals, both of which must be met before green-lighting an improvement: (a) a product’s improvements must be used and (b) a product’s improvements must be valued. (bold for his emphasis)
Now the problem becomes one of measurement. Of the two, utilization is easier. Data can be gathered on whether a feature is being used. Research methods exist to tell if a feature would be used even if it’s not available
“Native advertising is comprised of two major shifts, both of which are being led by social platforms. First, native is defined by the users (people + brands) who create content using the same tools and streams. Second, native paid placement is interwoven. There’s no separate box: all messages — ad or not — are formatted the same way. The key is you need both of these shifts in order to truly create native advertising.”—My latest post on TechCrunch. We are excited about this space and we think it is only starting to come together.
“The good news is that getting more interactions is pretty simple: Post more. The bad news: It takes a lot of people to do this well.”—Great study on how flow is taking over the world and why brands have to better systematize their content strategy.
“What that means is that where consumers are out in force (platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest), brands don’t get differentiated treatment (no special rectangles or 300x250 boxes); they’re given a regular account like the rest of us.”—Noah on, well, the future of digital marketing.
“As with most things having to do with culture here, we take the office pretty seriously. We’re very proud of it and we’re looking for someone to help us manage it (and lots of things having to do with it) as we grow.”—We are hiring an office manager. We are excited about it.
“Plus Mark himself is such a fearsomely effective person. And so young; he’s only a little older now than Larry and Sergey were when they started Google; so he still has the energy and mental flexibility that’s usually the only asset of founders just starting out.”—
I believe this is the biggest thing people discount about Facebook’s potential. Mark Zuckerberg is a machine.
The above is a quote Paul Graham made in the comments of his post.
It is also great to see him talk about the need for young companies to have a revenue stream. Even the early stage guys are now preaching a business model. Nice.