By Seth Godin
Over the last ten years, the amount that we buy online has gone up. So have the number of ads we click on every day. We're all clicking around, browsing and sometimes buying.
But, while these interactions and transactions have been growing, the amount of time we spend online and the number of pages we visit have gone up dramatically faster.
Mobile multiplies this.
Do the math. More time, more pages, not nearly so much more in the way of transaction. A visit from a mobile user is almost certainly less likely to convert into a click, particularly a purchase. Your tweets are seen by ten times as many people, but only twice as likely to get clicked on as they used to be. All the attention we seem to get from the outside world is going up fast, but the amount of interaction it leads to is not.
There's a whole lot of people spending a lot of time browsing, not taking action. Permission doesn't scale at the same rate browsing does, which is why permission is worth more than ever
What you were trained to do: wait for a good, generous, munificent, tasteful, smart boss or client to tell you what to do.
If that doesn't happen, blame the system, blame the boss, blame the client. If the work is lousy, it's the client's fault. If the boss doesn't see or understand your insight, that's his fault. You are here to serve, and if they don't get it, well, that's too bad for all concerned.
What you might consider: Lead up.
A great designer gets great clients because she deserves them. One of the ways that she became a great designer was by leading her clients to make good decisions, to have better taste, to understand her insight and have the guts to back it. That doesn't happen randomly. It happens when someone leads up.
A successful middle manager gets promoted when she takes the right amount of initiative, defers the right amount of credit and orchestrates success. That success might happen despite (not because) of who her bosses are, and that's just fine, beca
The challenge of communication isn't to never miscommunicate, it's to cut down the time between the interaction and the realization that the communication didn't get through. Because the sooner we know we're not connecting, the sooner we can fix it.
Phone calls, for example, lead to less miscommunication than instructions sent by mail. A cycle of clarity is built into the medium. "Huh?" is a perfectly appropriate way to ask someone to refine a message. Conversations are more clear than marching orders, because conversations have built-in error detection and correction.
Organizations that are good at flagging the misunderstood internal messages are far more likely to move quickly, in sync, than the ones that assume that messages from on high are never to be questioned. When in doubt, ask.
As organizations and individuals succeed, it gets more difficult to innovate. There are issues of coordination, sure, but mostly it's about fear. The fear of failing is greater, because it seems as though you've got more to lose.
So urgency disappears first. Why ship it today if you can ship it next week instead? There are a myriad of excuses, but ultimately it comes down to this: if every innovation is likely to fail, or at the very least, be criticized, why be in such a hurry? Go to some more meetings, socialize it, polish it and then, one day, you can ship it.
Part of the loss of urgency comes from a desire to avoid accountability. Many meetings are events in which an organization sits in a room until someone finally says, "okay, I'll take responsibility for this." If you're willing to own it, do you actually need a meeting, or can you just email a question or two to the people you need information from?
Thus, we see the two symptoms of the organization unable t
It is true that the vast majority of consumer web apps have been and continue to be monetized with advertising. On mobile that is less true, but becoming more true every day.
There are all sorts of ways to generate advertising revenue online. Here are the entries under the advertising category in our revenue model hackpad:
This list is most certainly not exhaustive but it does cover the most common advertising approaches and you can see how many there are on the Internet. There has been a lot of innovation in this sector in the past 18 years since the first banner ads were created and sold.
The famous Luma Partners slide shows just how complex the online ad market has become over time.
And this market map is by no means exhaustive either. Online advertising is a big and complicated business.
I would break up advertising into two big buckets; ads that are sold and ads that are bought. The first is a relationship business, requires a direct salesforce or a salesforce t
Every scrutinized historical event fails to hold up to serious inspection.
There's missing evidence. How did he get from point A to point B? Where's the document or the eyewitness or the proof?
Your future opportunities are like this as well. Even at the hottest part of the 1998 Internet run up, skeptics wanted more proof that the internet wasn't merely a waste of time. They wanted all the dots connected, and were happy to keep collecting dots until they were.
For a train to get from one city to another, it makes countless tiny leaps, crossing microscopic chasms that would easily show up if you looked closely enough. That doesn't keep you from getting there, though.
I don't think the right question is, "is the path perfect?"
It's probably, "Is this somewhere I'd like to go?"
It's significantly easier to cross a gap when you have direction and momentum.
All geeks, nerds and puzzle folks are aware of the nine-dot problem, along with the lesson it is frequently used to present.
Here's a pencil. Here's a piece of copy paper with nine dots on it. Without lifting the pencil or folding the paper, connect the nine dots using four straight lines.
The narrator smiles as you try as hard as you can, unable to do it. Then he ends your frustration and points out you've been tricked by your own limits, because, of course, there's nothing in the rules that says you can't have the lines go beyond the edges of the nine dots.
The thing is, this isn't the end. This is the beginning of the cheating, and anyone who stops here, satisfied at his breakthrough, is missing the point.
Some innovators point out that because the dots and the pencil have width, it can actually be done with threelines. (Here's how). At this point, some people get uncomfortable because a lot of what we assumed (the edges of the nine dots, their magical zero width
If you have to ask, it probably is.
The best definition of permission marketing used to be messages that were anticipated, personal and relevant. If this is going to be an asset of your organization (and it should be), let's take it to the next, easily measured level: would people miss it if it didn't arrive?
Once you have people looking forward to what you have to say, no more worries about spam. You've built an asset worth owning.
Back in 2004, early in my blogging career, I heard about a service that had just launched called Feedburner. It provided a number of useful services for a blog's RSS feed. So I went and signed up and AVC became one of the first users of the service. I immediately liked the service and the idea. So I contacted the founder/CEO Dick Costolo, who has gone onto bigger and better things. I told Dick that I was interested in making an investment in Feedburner. My friend Brad Feld was also talking to Dick about the same thing so we decided to do the investment together.
As part of our investment process, we do a bunch of fact gathering/checking work that is called Due Diligence in the vernacular of the VC business. So my partner Brad Burnham and I put together a list of leading blogs and online publishers who had popular RSS feeds at the time. I think there were a dozen or so publications
While Shopify preaches their beautiful (useless) website templates, and Big Commerce, along with Volusion is spending all their money advertising their Vaporware software, Shopping Cart Elite has been innovating.
We put together a four minute video to show you that as your business grows, you need your technology to grow with your business.
It is very important that you choose the right partner the first time, otherwise you will end up like Tom. It is inevitable that this will happen to you because you are the one who chooses the path.
You can't change the law of physics, but you can control the future of it. We hope that after you watch this video, you will choose a better future for yourself and your business.
A speech he made at the Sorbonne in Paris on April 23, 1910:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
In a great little book by Price Pritchett, “You²”, he shares that experts agree that we typically use only ten percent of our full potential. Whether we agree with the experts or not, it’s hard t
Setting type used to have just one function: is it readable? Then, to save money, a new question: Can we get a lot of words on a page?
The third question, though, is the most dominant for most people making a presentation, designing a website, scoping out a logo or otherwise using type to deliver a message: How does it look?
The answer is not absolute. In some situations, some cultures, some usages, one type looks fine and another looks garish or silly or just wrong. And the reason is that whether we realize it or not, type reminds us of something we've seen before.
Here's an obvious example:
Here's another example... which one looks like a college you'd aspire to attend:
If you use a typeface that reminds me of the script on the menu of a French restaurant, then no, I'm not going to instinctively believe that you're a good doctor. If you use a thin, elegant wedding invitation font in your Powerpoint presentation, you haven't been clever, you've merely confused me.
Here's the am
Is it even possible to hire the right people into the right seats in your company? What if you can hire another person just like yourself, or even better, imagine cloning yourself 20 times. I didn’t believe it was possible. Just last year around the same time our company employed only 12 employees and we were struggling to find talent. Today, we employ 33 employees and even though we can always improve, we are better organized as a team than ever before. What happened, and how can you learn from our experience?
I am well aware that my competitors will read this, and they will find it shocking that I am disclosing a company secret that is giving us an advantage over them. I have no problem taking that risk for the sake of helping my clients, and my loyal readers succeed in their business.
It was 2006 when recession hit my first ecommerce company, we had 47 domestic employees on the payroll. I remember that day clearly, October 10th, 2006, we went from $350,000 per month to $50,000 per
Suspense is a feeling of pleasurable fascination and excitement mixed with apprehension, tension, and anxiety developed from a unpredictable, mysterious, and rousing source of entertainment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspense
1) Place your character(s) in precarious positions that force them to make hard choices as a matter of survival. The danger can take the form of physical harm such as a chase, accident or disease, an ultimatum to choose between two desires, or even a crisis of faith that challenges previously held beliefs. Consider rock-and-a-hard-place scenarios that put ordinary characters into extraordinary positions that test their mettle. Television series frequently use cliffhangers for their season finales to keep audiences guessing for the next several months which characters in the cast will survive a tragedy, disrupt a wedding, announce a pregnancy or see something that they weren't supposed to. These same set-ups work for chapters in novels as well
Four doctors go out duck hunting, a family doctor, a gynecologist, a surgeon and a pathologist. A bird flies overhead. The family doctor starts to shoot it, but stops because he isn’t absolutely sure it’s a duck. The gynecologist starts to shoot it, but he stops, too, because even though he’s pretty sure it’s a duck, he can’t tell if it’s male or female. The surgeon blows the bird out of the sky, turns to the pathologist and says, “Go see if that’s a duck.”
Perhaps that explains the natural tension between sales people and finance people.
The typical industrial-era organization is like a battleship. Hundreds or thousands of people onboard, and most of them are essential--but most of them aren't actually directly responsible for the work that we hired the battleship to do. Without the fuel people, the navigation team, the folks in the med corps and on and on, it doesn't work.
The battleship can go far, with impact, and change the course of history. While it has exactly one captain, it's the synchronized work of more than a million people (when you think about all the machinists and support folks back home) and it works. It does what we ask it to do.
One more thing about the people on the battleship: just about everyone has a punchlist, an itemized inventory of what they need to get done. And many of them are rewarded for doing that set of tasks more efficiently, more elegantly and with better quality than expected. Great people means the system works even better, but it's designed to survive with people who are merely go
Writing solid ad copy from scratch is loaded with uncertainty. (Not to mention it’s incredibly tedious.) In this video tour, find how SpyFu’s re-designed Ad History helps you pull ideas from the strongest ad copy on your keywords—without spending hours to find it. This clear direction helps you start with optimized ad copy from Day 1.
We turn to your competitors for clues. If they have already invested time and money into testing to find optimized ad copy, you don’t have to extend your own resources to find what they’ve already tested. Ad History highlights a competitor’s strongest ad copy—taken from their most competitive keywords.
A phrase match filter narrows down your search so you can work with targeted keywords and see patterns across relevant matches. One more plus: it’s no longer up to you to hunt color changes in every keyword to see what changed. We summarize just how much a domain relied on one dominant message across all of its keywords so you know