Alice asked the Chesire Cat, who was sitting in a tree.
“What road do I take?”
“Where do you want to go?” the cat asked.
“I don’t know” Alice answered.
“Then, it really doesn’t matter, does it?” said the cat.

If your destination or goals are vague, then the decisions you make will reflect that.

You can apply this philosophy to numerous aspects of your life, be it your job, your personal life, your retirement plans etc unless you’re clear on what you really want, then you’re unlikely to make informed decisions that will help you achieve something truly fulfilling, you need a compass to point you in the right direction.

In Branding terms, these are referred to as your Core Values… as I’ve written before “Your core values are the very essence of what you or your company stand for, strip away everything else and the core values remain, they become your compass in good times and bad times, they guide your decision making process” more on that here

Applying this sort of branding technique to your personal life may seem a bit strange at first, but it could really help, especially if you’re stuck in a rut, or find it difficult to make decisions. Core Values are a reflection of who you are, your essence, you don’t make them up, you discover and refine them.

As David Eagleman explains in his book Incognito, “The next time a friend laments that she cannot decide between two options, tell her to flip a coin. The important part is to assess her gut feeling after the coin lands. If she feels a subtle sense of relief at being told what to do by the coin, then that’s the right choice for her. If instead, she concludes that it’s ludicrous for her to make that decision based on a coin toss, that will cue her to choose the other option”

Why? It’s all to do with the fact that the unconscious mind has already made the decision, it’s just that your conscious mind, which is much slower, hasn’t caught up yet, in this instance, your unconscious mind represents your Core Values. So if you’re someone that usually goes with your gut feeling, great, but wouldn’t it be good to refine the process!

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That appears to be Martin Hasek’s philosophy, the creator of Noteslate, and it appears to be working. I posted about the Noteslate back in January, I was sceptical then and unfortunately my scepticism was founded, as this CNN report confirmed shortly afterwards, but that doesn’t appear to have stopped 64,000 people clicking the like button on their homepage, 10,000 following them on Twitter, plus over 17,000 optimistic hopefuls liking the Noteslate Facebook page (there were only 500 when I hit the like button!), most of which are keen to see a real noteslate in production, although some are flagging a bit now on the Facebook page, and posting negative and frustrated comments.

So why do this? Surely Martin is going to anger a lot of people when he comes 100% clean, or will he? After all he’s proven without doubt that his college industrial design project (apparently that’s where it all started) has a market, one that may make investors very interested in the concept, although without any IP protection, I’m not sure how interested they’d be… although if you do the maths, based on the original price of $100 per unit (highly unlikely), that’s still 90k fans & likes x $100 = $9m… not bad for vapourware! Plus if Noteslate don’t release it, someone else undoubtedly will.

Either way, I’d personally love to see a noteslate type of device, without doubt I’d use it everyday, it dovetails perfectly with our no paper philosophy, we’d certainly look at ways of communicating with it and automating syncing with our own systems.

One thing Noteslate highlights and proves to us at no paper, is that people have no problem imagining a world where they don’t use or rely on paper, of course we’ve believed that for a long time, but it’s nice to know others believe and feel the same!

more dis-information at noteslate

more information at no paper

Why oh Why

May 17, 2011

“its not what, but why you do something that matters”
Brendan Mitchell

What’s your brand really worth to you? If you’re Coca Cola it’s a heck of a lot, in the past year alone Brand Finance estimate that Coke lost $9bn in Brand Value! In comparison BP and it’s recent Gulf of Mexico disaster lost $3.4bn in brand value last year, only a third of Coke’s loss? Does anyone recall a major Coke slick last year? So what did Coca Cola do so disastrously wrong last year? Not much actually, it appears to be more down to a shift in consumer interests, moving to more healthy and non-carbonated drinks, ouch!

Nokia took the biggest hit of anyone losing $8.8bn in Brand Value last year! The Top of the crop is Google, with a Brand Value (BV) of $44bn

But what does this all mean? To get a bit of perspective, Coke’s BV is now $26bn = 37% of it’s $70bn Market Capital (MC),  Nokia’s BV is $9.6bn = 28% of it’s $27bn MC, Google’s $44bn = 30% of it’s $143bn MC… while the likes of Apple, (whom appear to be in the press all the time) have a BV of $29.5bn which is only 12% of it’s $244bn MC, meaning Coke’s Brand Value is worth 3 times as much to it’s share price than Apple!

While ExxonMobil (the worlds largest company) with a MC of $312bn, has a BV of $14bn, which is just 4.3%

So as you can see, brands are very important, but they can be far more valuable to some companies than others.

more info here

you should follow me on twitter here

I caught this advert at the weekend, I thought it was wonderful… although it didn’t make me want to rush out to buy some Cravendale milk! Also worth noting is Cravendale have created an online campaign around this advert, encouraging viewers to follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page, buts what’s telling is that they have 33,ooo Facebook fans but only 3,500 Twitter followers, or another way of saying it, is that 9 out of 10 cats with opposable thumbs prefer Facebook! (maybe I’m getting my advertising messages confused!)

you should follow me on twitter here

Practise What You Tweet

October 21, 2010

I read this article yesterday about Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, and how he rarely tweets, sure enough he only has 128 tweets! which was a little surprising, especially as he’s now head of product development… but as he says he uses Twitter for consumption not broadcasting… although he follows just 1,284 users, while he has 1,257,315 followers (that’s almost a 1,000 to 1 ratio).

As the post highlights, a lack of engagement or passion in another of Evan’s earlier startups Odeo, doomed it from day 1, even though he was able to source funding, he just didn’t appear compelled or interested enough in it to keep it going. I have no doubt Twitter will continue to thrive with or without Evan’s tweets, but it is interesting nonetheless.

To build a company you really have to believe in it and use it’s services. The same is true when building your brand, you have to live and breath your ethos. I posted a few days ago, that you have to be authentic, if you’re not, and you can’t convince yourself, how will you ever convince those you connect with or your customers!

I’m in the early stages of building and launching a new company named no paper onto the world, as the name implies, we don’t use paper. I live and breath this ideology, I only purchase eBooks, no paper books, I have Kindles, Sony eReaders, iPads, iPhones, laptops all choc full of eBooks. Our iPads and iPhones are our daily notebooks (FYI there’s a no paper iApp coming soon). We have a no paper office policy, no printer, no fax machines, no paper notepads in meetings or on people’s desks. Paper invoices are ignored and go unpaid until we receive an electronic version, we do not accept cheques only bank transfers for payment, most if not all business is handled electronically. That may sound draconian at first, but when you adhere to the rules not because you have to, but because you want to, you realise they weren’t rules, they were advice. Then a wonderful thing starts to happen, you become emotionally engaged in the ethos, it becomes visceral (more on that by Anne), you start putting forward your own suggestions, it’s no longer just part of your life, you become part of it. This harks back to the definition of leadership

At home I don’t send letters, birthday or xmas cards and my family and friends know not to send them to me either (I’d rather a phone call or text, costs less and I find it’s more engaging and personal), all my utilities, bills and bank statements are electronic or online, I’m converting all my old paper bank statements, utility bills, insurance records etc into electronic versions (and experimenting in the best way to reference and store them, again something we’re working on at no paper), I refuse to have junk mail and freebie newspapers pushed through my letterbox… I could go on, but you get the idea, I live and breath the brand values of my business… as the saying goes, “If you truly want to understand something, try changing it” but that also works in reverse, “If you truly want to change something, try understanding it!” the only way I can truly understand a life with no paper is to live one… if I can do it, then hopefully I can encourage others to do the same, then in turn they will encourage others.

The Name Game

October 19, 2010

I’ve previously posted with best practices for naming your company, but I just stumbled across this article on Startups.com with 17 (18 actually!) suggestions of things to bear in mind when naming your company, definitely a good read if you’re in the market for naming a product or company