Saturday, 21 September 2013

Steve Jobs On How Content Is Truly King [video]

Content Truly Is King

In the middle of this amazing "lost" Steve Jobs interview is some of the best thinking on content and product development I've ever discovered. Jobs discusses the very important distinction between process and the masterful craftsmanship required to develop great products.

Listening to this extraordinary segment I thought Jobs was contradicting Dov Seidman's book How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything. On repeated listening not so much. Jobs is warning against process police taking over and attempting to substitute hollow business process where passion, commitment and genius should rule.

Seidman is suggesting that creating the kinds of teams Jobs was famous for leading is the only business process anyone owns. There are no secrets and intellectual property is a poor substitute for fast moving new market creating genius (iPad, iPhone for example).

"People get very confused that the process is the content."

Content Greatness Under Attack

Content fights a two front war. The "process police" are easy to spot. They use words like, "can't", "never before" and "better check with legal". Process police live for the obstruction. Their victory is delay, derail or obfuscation. This is not to say we should all shoot first and figure everything else out second.

While it is hard to define professional obstructionist process police we all know them when we interact with them. In many places these "police" have a kind of institutional tenure. Process police can leach their way into any company or institutions they can be all but impossible to remove or go around.

Steve Jobs was asked to leave the company he started. Perfect example of a company taken over by process police. Why would any company give up a Steve Jobs? Jobs's tells you why in the video when he discusses how difficult it can be to employ and interact with brilliant content creators.

The way of the creative warrior is mercurial, unsure, tempestuous and difficult. In contrast the Process Police hold up a picture of calm seas and quiet hearts and promise unwavering fealty. We do the things the way we've always done them because to do so creates security and assurance that life is orderly, predictable and calm.

In my thirties working for a large consumer packaged goods company I wondered about the nature of risk and time. On the surface our lives seemed ideal. Making large salaries and doing work I loved was great, but each battle was changing me.

The illusion I sold was "intra-preneurship" - approaching my job within a billion dollar company as if I was an entrepreneur. I found out what a total fiction such self deception is when, at 35, we started Found Objects (twenty years ago).

Immediately the fiction of "intra-preneuring" was exposed. All that process strength meant next to nothing in the big bad world of product and content. The fallacy of process as content was clear, striking and immediate.

Content doesn't START magical. Kings of Content, those mercurial people Jobs laments are impossible to manage, craft clay, steel and wood into the art of great content. Would your company hire the next Steve Jobs? If they did would your process police hector him or her right out of the company?

Hope for your company and career's sake the answer to both of those questions is YES and NO.

State of Michigan to host MiVirtualCareerFair

LANSING  — Job seekers and employers can connect with each other in a live virtual environment through a MiVirtualCareerFair career networking event hosted by the State of Michigan, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 at
“There are more than 60,000 jobs currently available in various industries on the Pure Michigan Talent Connect website, which connects Michigan employers to qualified talent as well as provides resources for job seekers,” said Joe Quick, Manager of Talent Programs, Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
MiVirtualCareerFair allows employers to connect with top talent and gives job seekers the opportunity to apply for dozens of available positions without the inconvenience and expense of traditional job fairs.  Since the first MiVirtualCareerFair event in February 2012, more than 90 employers and more than 10,000 job seekers have been connected.
Within MiVirtualCareerFair, employers host exhibitor booths that include links to job postings, company profiles, employee benefits, and employer contact information, and allow job seekers to communicate one-on-one with company representatives. Post-event, employers receive in-depth analytics including candidate resumes, applications, chat transcripts, and booth visit data. All job openings posted during the fair will be accessible to participants for 30 days after the live event. 
These employers will take part in the September MiVirtualCareerFair: Advanced Physical Therapy Center, Auto-Owners Insurance, Cochrane Supply, Edgewater Automation, GC Services, Genemarkers, General Electric, Grid Logic, Inc., Hope Network, Lyons Industries, Microline Technology Corporation, New York Life Insurance Company, Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., State of Michigan, Stout Systems, TechSmith Corporation and Van Loon Industries, Inc.
Employers interested in hosting a booth in one of the upcoming MiVirtualCareerFair events are encouraged to contact Andrew Belanger, Project Coordinator for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation at

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Trust Is A CATCH-22

Pebbles and CATCH-22's

What does it mean when a cool idea for a watch earns $11M on Kickstarter? Certainly one clear and loud implication is crowdfunding is ready for prime time, but there are more sweeping and profound implications. Why would anyone make anything without testing and creating a digital market long before materials are purchased to make something material.

Pebble's brilliant Kickstarter campaign proves the man, machine, mountain parable. Match the right man (or product) to the right mountain and supply him (or her) with the right tools and the mountain will be climbed. Make the Pebble pitch to Walmart and it is a nonstarter.

Pebble Smartwatch 2013 video from Pebble Technology on Vimeo.

This "match the hatch" of product to market and marketplace has never been more important. You have one chance to make a first impression so matching your idea to favorable audience is critical. There is a CATCH-22 hidden in our new distribution model. You can't know what is right until you test and testing steals "first impression".

Our Story of Cancer Foundation just DIDN'T sell its first product on eBay. We probably did ten things wrong listing my Specialized SL2 since we didn't make our first sale. Ebay is a trust system. The more you sell the more trust you develop. We started with a BIG and expensive thing when we should have learned and built our reputation on smaller, less expensive things. Worth another go, but not with the Specialized.

Kickstarter turned the eBay model on is head. They said, "We have an exclusive number of things like distributorships, celebrity endorsements and watches, get them if you can". The right question is how can we sell on eBay in the Pebble watch way? How can we create the perceived exclusivity that creates a competitive market in our favor?

Exclusivity is an important currency online. Important and often overlooked since the web seems to have everything in abundance. What makes a digital good exclusive? The story you tell. takes commodity rumbas and makes them special with the stories they tell, the voice they tell those stories in and the perceived exclusivity of great deals with deadlines.

Stories are important, but so are other e-commerce tools such as deadline, exclusivity, legitimacy (realized via testimonials) and TRUST as distilled from many interactions with your online brand. What do you do if you don't have any of those things? Find something you can give away FREE and then over deliver on that promise.

Pebble Watch is both exception and new ecommerce rule. Chances of your hitting an idea so dead solid perfect are about that of being hit by lightening, but you can and should emulate basic "new ecommerce" lessons such as:

* Stories Matter.
* Deadlines Matter.
* Exclusivity (real or perceived) matters.
* TRUST matters most.

Trust Is A CATCH-22

Trust is one of those strange things. The more you chase after it the less you get. Your EARN trust you don't get it instantly or for FREE. Trust can come from a scaled network like Kickstarter or from your LinkedIn profile, a video or "like me" friends who comment, share impressions on social media or write about your efforts (as my amazing friend Phil Buckley did recently).

The Story of Cancer Foundation isn't trusted on eBay yet, so my bad for starting with a BIG EXPENSIVE THING. Trust requires TIME, TESTING and some TROUBLE. People want to know what you do when something doesn't go your way. When you blew that shipment or forgot to do something are you concerned fixing your systems?

Will you trust me because my friend Phil said nice things? Maybe, but you are likely to want more validation. The best validation we provide is what we do online every day. Phil pointed out in the comments that I'm known for creating a lot of content (not so much this week sine I'm sick as a dog lol).

Presence creates trust. Presence is also a chit, a promise. When I can't keep my normal schedule that can be the equivalent of a broken promise. Once a social identity is established be careful with how you change it. Over communicate why change is happening and where you are going or trust can be lost.

Social presence creates trust. Social presence over time creates expectations and trust. Be careful with both and if you know how to sell on ebay please let us know :). Thanks, Marty

Developing international IP strategy program is Friday

TROY — The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Department of Commerce, East Michigan District Export Council are hosting a program on intellectual property rights in the global marketplace, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20 at Michigan State University, Management Education Center, 811 W. Square Lake Road, Troy.
This one-day program is aimed at providing companies with tools to develop an IP strategy to support expanded export sales and increased global business activities, while avoiding the pitfalls of IP theft and abuse. The program is open to companies of all sizes in all industries, located across the United States. The cost is $125 per person. To register, visit or call 248-975-9609.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Stories - Why So Important NOW

Stories Matter

The web moves in phases. The first phase was presence. In 1999 when I built my first website, (now RIP sadly), having a website was sufficient to generate Return On Investment (ROI).

The next phase was the battle for commerce. The move from "brochure-ware", websites that were little more than printed brochures that happened to be online, to limited interactivity.

Once the conversational door was open the social tsunami began. Where once we lucky few Internet marketers lectured now, in the social era, we listen and curate. Having conversations means we develop different kinds of websites.

One easy to spot difference is the ubiquity of social share buttons. Social signals such as Facebook Likes and Tweets confirm our claims and the conversations taking place on our new more social websites.

Why Stories Matter NOW

  • No one speaks first, so conversations must be present and robust.

  • Speaking in stories creates more vulnerability than "marketing speak".

  • Being vulnerable creates trust and a quid pro quo. 

  • Stories create relationships. 

  • Stories create engagement. 

  • Google's algorithm changes. 

Google's Changes

Google is simultaneously the web's greatest influence and gauge of what is important. Google's re-emphasis on engagement and relevance protects the core of their model - the validity and democracy of links. Debating if Google's shifts are in response to an observed trend or their desire to create a better web is moot.

Understanding WHY something becomes as important as stories are now is often a fool's errand. Internet marketing is fast moving. Time is often too valuable to spend understanding the past since to do so risks the NOW. Every dollar your website will ever make happens in the only time the web recognizes NOW.

Watch Andreas Ekstrom explain how Google knows when you will get the flu and who will win an American presidential campaign and one Internet marketing truth is clear - what Google wants you want too:

Google Wants Relevant Stories

Google doesn't speak nearly as clearly as, "More and better stories please". Google uses words like "engagement" and "heuristics" to say the same thing. A website's heuristics are metrics such as time on site, pages viewed and bounce rate that should demonstrate a growing value, a growing relationship.

Google is going to do their job, ship traffic to our websites. Your job is to treat that traffic like family. When I was a Director of E-commerce we washed thousands through our conversion funnel to trap hundreds. Not a good idea now.

After Google algorithm changes less traffic converting better holds up our end of the Internet marketing bargain. Google is the traffic cop and we are tasked with creating unique experiences that thrill people Google sends.

"Thrill" means people spend more time with your content, share it with their friends and social network and convert (take some action Google can see such as clicking for more pages, joining your email list or buying something).

Story As Conversation Starter

Stories, voice and tone have never been more important, but we aren't in college and this isn't a lecture. Stories aren't lectures. Stories are examples of your website's recognition of where we are, what phase of the moon we are in.

Your website must begin by sharing stories. Almost immediately your marketing should emphasize User Generated Content (UGC). You share your stories to create TRUST. When your customers share their stories trust is assured.

This can be a hard pivot. Internet marketers tend to get stuck in a single gear. Once marketers gear up to tell stories they may forget we share stories with intent - to create an ecosystem where conversations happen, where our customers are comfortable enough to share their stories.

There was a time when we lucky few marketers invaded Russia in the winter. We gathered millions of dollars of resources, pointed all of that armor at a target, gritted out teeth and bulled our way forward. Not so much anymore.

Even if a marketing team could create such a massive campaign actually spending the money would be foolish. Today's marketing is about smaller steps more carefully watched. Today's marketing requires stories because stories are the best way to feel our way forward.

Great Story Resource

Karen Dietz is my favorite online storytelling resource. Karen is writing a book about storytelling and here is a link to one of my favorite posts on's blog:

Whoever Tells The Best Story Wins

Storytelling To Grow Your Business Karen's

Just Story It on Scoopit

@Kdietz on Twitter

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Business events in Oakland County

Sept. 18
SOUTHFIELD — Flagstar Bank presents the third annual ‘Speed Networking’ event, which will bring together more than sixty professionals in the business and legal arena for a chance to network, exchange business cards, and promote their services. It is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Regency Manor in Southfield.
Each person will have three minutes to introduce themselves to another professional, and provide a short ‘pitch’ for their products or services before they rotate to the next professional.
The event is co-sponsored by the Armenian- American Bar Association, the Chaldean American Bar Association, the Chaldean American Association for Health Professionals, the Hispanic Bar Association of Michigan, the Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and Steward Media. For more information, contact Derek Dickow at 248-702-5501 or email To purchase tickets to the event, visit

Sept. 18
WATERFORD TWP. — Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification Orientation is 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18. The cost is $25 per person. The workshop covers the benefits and process of becoming a Women's Business Enterprise (WBE). Benefits include certification to private sector WBE's and access to procurement opportunities with major national companies. It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept. 19
WATERFORD TWP. — Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion is 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Sept. 19. This free workshop is for startup or existing small business looking to research their business idea or find research for their business plan. It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept. 19
BIRMINGHAM — Miller Canfield lawyer Michael P. Coakley along with Linda Cena, securities examination manager, and Jason Craft, securities examiner, will discuss the latest legal developments affecting the securities industry at an upcoming “Before the Bell,” 7:15-8:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept.19 at the Townsend Hotel in downtown Birmingham.
The presenters will discuss examination sweep results and best practices derived from them, IA switch firms’ most common violations and recent legislative developments in the industry.
There is no cost to attend. Reservations are required, contact Sandy Bera at 248-267-3345 or This event is limited to investment officers, registered representatives or trust officers. For more information, visit

Sept. 19
TROY — The Troy Chamber of Commerce will host the next luncheon in its CEO series on Thursday, Sept. 19, featuring Delphi Automotive President/CEO Rodney O’Neal. O’Neal will present a keynote address, “Reinvention and Remaining Relevant.” The event will begin with a mini business expo at 10:30 a.m. followed by lunch and O’Neal’s keynote address, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The event will be held at San Marino Club, 1685 E. Big Beaver Rd., in Troy. The cost to attend is $27 for Troy Chamber members and $37 for non-members. An additional $5 will be charged the day of the event. The cost to exhibit at the event is $100 for Troy Chamber members and $150 for non-member (limited number), including one lunch.
To register, call 248-641-8151 or e-mail

Sept. 19
WEST BLOOMFIELD TWP. — The Greater West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce is hosting Nancy Schlichting, Chief Executive Officer of Henry Ford Health System as the keynote speaker for the fall 2013 Leadership luncheon. The luncheon will be held at noon Thursday, Sept. 19 in the atrium of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. Schlichting was named the Crain’s 2013 Newsmaker of the Year and is recognized as a national leader in the health care industry. Dr. Frank  McGeorge, WDIV-TV4 medical reporter and Henry Ford Hospital emergency medicine physician, is the master of ceremonies for the event.
Tickets are $45 for West Bloomfield Chamber members and $50 for non-members. To register or for more information, visit or call 248-626-3636.

Sept. 19
DETROIT – Paul A. Glantz, founder and chairman of Emagine Entertainment Inc. and CEO of Proctor Financial Inc., this month will speak at Wayne State University about ways start-up businesses can attract investors and protect their financial investments.
Glantz will present “Valley of Death: Surviving the Financial Rut” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium at Wayne Law, 471 W. Palmer St. The free workshop is open to the public. Parking is available for $6.50 in the structure across West Palmer Street from the law school. For more information, contact Shawn Starkey at 313-577-4629 or
The keynote talk will begin at 6:15 p.m., and hors d'oeuvres and networking are 7:15 to 8 p.m.

Sept. 24
TROY — A Health Care Reform Connect Conference is 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the MSU Management Education Center, 811 W. Square Lake Road, Troy. There will be a series of interactive sessions with experts discussing: what's new, exchange options and changes required for your benefit plan. A speaker from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, will discuss the latest updates to the Affordable Care Act and answer questions. The cost is $100 for Michigan Business & Professional Association members or $125 for nonmembers. Admission includes workshops and brunch. For more information or to register, call 586-393-8800 or visit

Sept. 24-25
ANN ARBOR — The Center for Empowerment and Economic Development is hosting the annual Great Lakes Women’s Business Conference, Sept. 24-25. The 13th annual  Women’s Business Enterprises Council Great Lakes (WBEC) conference will offer networking, silent auction, workshops and opportunities to speak with supplier diversity professionals. The event will include “Power Lunches.” The list of participants is at Tickets start at $150 and can be purchased at or by calling CEED at 734-677-1400.

Sept. 25
BIRMINGHAM — The 10th annual Vine & Dine gala benefitting Gleaner’s Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 at Neiman Marcus at the Somerset Collection in Troy.  Hosted by the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber, the event will showcase the talents of students from Oakland Community College’s Culinary Institute.
The event includes a runway fashion show featuring Neiman Marcus Fall fashions, a chance to win a diamond necklace valued at $3,800 from Astrein’s Creative Jewelers and a luxury vehicle display from the Fred Lavery Company.
Food and wine participants include: 220 Restaurant, Beverly Hills Grill, CafĂ© ML, Cameron’s Steakhouse, Fox Grill, Hills Fine Wine & Spirits, Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Maggiano’s Little Italy, Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council, OCC Culinary Institute, Old World Olive Press, Peabody’s, Roadside B & G, Salvatore Scallopini, Schakolad Birmingham Chocolate, Streetside Seafood and Woodberry Wine.
Neiman Marcus is at Somerset Collection, 2705 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy. The event includes complimentary valet. Dress to impress. Tickets are $75 each. Special corporate pricing is available for groups of 12 or more. To purchase tickets, visit or call 248-430-7688.

Sept. 25
TROY — L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive discusses what advanced manufacturers need to build a globally-competitive workforce, 7:30-9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 at Troy Marriott, 200 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy. Breakfast is at 7:30 a.m. and the program is at 8 a.m. The event is free, but registration is required at

Sept. 25
WATERFORD TWP. — QuickBooks Essentials Part 1 and Part 2 is 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25. The cost is $40 each or $75 for both parts. This introduction to small business financial management provides an overview of accurate recordkeeping, report interpretation and utilization, and management of  QuickBooks tools. It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept .25
WATERFORD TWP. — Health Care Reform and Small Business is 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Sept. 25. This free workshop discusses health care reform legislation and how it will affect all business owners. It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept. 25
WATERFORD TWP. — QuickBooks Essentials Part 1 and Part 2 is 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25. The cost is $40 each or $75 for both parts. This introduction to small business financial management provides an overview of accurate recordkeeping, report interpretation and utilization, and management of  QuickBooks tools. It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept .25
WATERFORD TWP. — Health Care Reform and Small Business is 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Sept. 25. This free workshop discusses health care reform legislation and how it will affect all business owners. It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept. 25
PONTIAC — Buckner's Bakery, A Dessert Cafe is hosting a ribbon cutting is from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25. Located at 19 N. Saginaw St. in Pontiac, the cafe features cakes, pies, ice cream treats and hand-scooped ice cream. For more information, call 248-454-0445 or visit
Briggette of Petals and Gems

Sept. 26
TROY — Automation Alley Headquarters is hosting Technology on the Move, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 26. This presentation will provide business leaders with knowledge on what their mobile devices can do for them, and will provide a sampling of applications that exist that can benefit their business. Speakers include Suzanne Chartier, Director of Engineering Services, eyeWyre Software Studios and Jim Salter, Business Development Director, Persis Consulting Company. Lunch is included. The cost in advance is $20 for members and $40 for nonmembers. The cost at the door is $30 for members and 50 for nonmembers. Call 1-800-427-5100 or visit to register.

Sept. 26
WATERFORD TWP. — Writing a Business Plan is 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Sept. 26. The cost is $40 per person. This course covers business planning along with a demonstration of the MI-SBTDC online business plan tool.  It is held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.

Sept. 26
SOUTHFIELD — Southfield-based Farbman Group, a leading full-service real estate company, is hosting a speed networking event titled Five Minute Farbman for its metro Detroit tenants and vendors. The event is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 26 at the Southfield Office Centre, 18000 W. Nine Mile Road, Southfield.
Five Minute Farbman provides the real estate company’s tenants and vendors with the opportunity to meet and connect with potential new customers, clients and vendors, while learning and sharing best practices for conducting business from individuals across a broad spectrum of industries.
Lunch and refreshments will be provided. For more information, or to register, visit

Friday, 13 September 2013

Secret Prize For Top Social Media Buzzer In October


We need help from social media and Internet marketing wizards. We are launching two major nonprofit websites in October: (crowdfunding cancer research) and (shop to cure cancer).

Both websites are funded by Atlantic BT and me and 100% of's donations go to cancer research. This is how I pay back people who've worked so hard to save my live (I'm a cancer survivor) and how Atlantic BT pays their amazing growth and success forward.  Both websites are part of the Story of Cancer Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit.

We need great online marketers to help beat the "cure cancer drum" in October, increase awareness of these two new ideas and demonstrate the power of social media marketing. If you are up for a challenge please join the Cure Cancer Buzz Team Today. If you can tweet you can help cure cancer.

We also need great editors, writers, photographers, video artists, artists (see our Art Cures Cancer contest) and anyone who wants to be part of something unique, special and fun.

Unique Prize

Four weeks after launch we will tally up IMPACT from our social media marketers and select ten outstanding Cure Cancer Buzz Team members. We will ask our community who deserves a special reward.

We've read Drive by Daniel Pink and know most people help worthy causes out of a sense of altruism and a desire to help. I've benefited from the kindness of strangers many times including the strangers that made a cancer drug that saved my life.

Four weeks after Cure Cancer Starter's launch we will award a unique prize to the TOP BUZZER along with our THANKS and appreciation. This "secret prize" will be the 4th one ever made and we hope the winner will be able to point that fact out with great pride as thousands of these secret new products walk around the planet helping raise cure cancer research money.

Want to guess? Here are three hints:

1. Both men and women look great in it.

2. Many will have already owned one at one point in their lives.

3. This new product will be a great Cure Cancer communicator despite the fact it is NOT electronic or digital.

FOM (Friends of Martin) Hint: Sue Rush has a picture of Ray Galvin wearing Martin's back in the day.