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.

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You Lucky Bastard!

September 3, 2009

Next time you think someone’s lucky, remember there’s no such thing as luck, it doesn’t exist.

Of course there are those that are born into wealth, survive death defying accidents, born with good health etc, but that isn’t luck, that’s good fortune.

If an opportunity arises and you take advantage of it, some will see that as luck, you were in the right place at the right time, but you know that you’ve likely worked very hard to be prepared & be in a position to take advantage of the opportunity when it arose.

So luck is being prepared & being in a position to take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself, it’s that simple.

Le Roi est Mort

August 26, 2009

In my Digital Brand Protection days, I had a presentation based around ROI, but it had a twist, as on the last slide I revealed I hadn’t been referring to “Return On Investment” as everybody thought, but “Risk Of Investment” that got their attention!

Upon jumping back & going through the presentation again, the audience understood exactly where I was coming from & the importance of what I was saying. Don’t get seduced by only looking at the high returns, weight up the possible costs of damaging your Brand & reputation, especially if you are aligning yourself with another brand.

There are times you have to take the risk and go with your convictions, that’s where RONI comes in “Risk Of Not Investing”. Seth wrote a great piece this morning that’s entirely about RONI.

Yes, absolutely, you could lose everything if you risk it all and go with your gut feeling, but you could still lose everything if you do nothing. If a competitor is hell bent on pushing forwards when you’re content to sit still, don’t be surprised when they win.

“You can never defeat a man, with nothing to lose”

So go for it! what have you got to lose?

Watch Your Behaviour

April 20, 2009

‘Power’ is derived from position. ‘Authority’ is derived from title. ‘Leadership’ is derived from behavior.
James R. Davis

Resigned To The Fact

April 10, 2009

This post was originally written on the 1st April, but I couldn’t post it until today, and believe me, it’s no April’s Fool.

Today is the 1st of April… the dreaded “R” word raised it’s ugly head today, no not recession, the other one, redundancy. I heard from two more friends, that they were made redundant today, both have been with the companies for a number of years and neither were expecting to be called aside.

Are they taking it badly or personally? thankfully not, both are up beat about it, of course they’ve heard the same thing from everyone, “Oh it’s the best thing that could happen to you” etc, mmmmmmm, no not exactly, winning the bleedin’ lottery would have undoubtedly been a bit of a better day, but then again, it’s only a job for crying out loud, it’s not as if somebody has died. Yes I agree, you have to look at the positives in these situations, the slate is clean, there’s no obstacles, there’s nothing stopping you getting on with all the things you’ve been putting off for ages.

I too realized that things had to change in my office today, but I’m in a different position, I’m a company Founder, so one of those that gets to decide who stays & who goes, (although trust me, that’s no privileged position, it’s not easy making those types of decisions, or nice telling someone), but we’re doing OK at the moment so there’s no redundancies on the cards, but even still someone had to go, and that someone was me!

I’ve too many other things on the boil, I can’t give my all to Cordovan at the present, so it would be unfair to all those that have worked with me the past decade for me to continue in my present capacity, so I’m stepping back. I’m not stepping down, I’m simply stepping back, I’m still sitting on the board & actively helping where I can (or is that interfering where I can), but I’m out of daily operations, it was a hard decision, I’ve spent 10 years building the company, but I’ve also spent the last couple of years ensuring it could function without me… it can, there’s no doubt in my mind there, if there was I wouldn’t step back, they’ll be fine.

It’s not easy letting go, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it’s the best thing, my focus has to be somewhere else now, there’s interesting times ahead, but I’m looking forward to the challenges, standing still would be boring, and that’s really not me.

A Balancing Act

March 28, 2009

In a recent post on Triiibes someone wrote “You Suck” as the title then went into how you shouldn’t be complacent & that there’s always someone out there, bigger, better & faster than you.

This may well be, but beating yourself up and thinking you’re a pile of crap, isn’t a good approach or that productive, although on the flip side, bigging yourself up as the King of the World, ain’t doing you any favours either.

If everyone thought they couldn’t take on those bigger, better & faster, then nothing would ever change for the better. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.

Take the initiative

March 20, 2009

Someone can only take your hand & become a friend if your arm is already out stretched.