Getting to be THAT guy
I went to print something off Mahalo yesterday and it didn’t have a “Print This” button–which causes a bunch of annoying ass problems with stuff getting cut off or printed out of order. And instead of getting frustrated and leaving, I remembered something: I could just email Jason and he’d probably fix it.
And that’s what he did, he responded and cc’d me on his email to the development staff. THAT is the way to establish a business. Sure, he’s the CEO, but is his time better spent in those Santa Monica lunch meetings (where I know for a fact that very little happens) or interacting with the people who actually use the product?
That guy–the accessible guy the audience turns to when they have a problem, he never existed before. He’s not a middleman, he is the man. This is new and it’s pretty fucking easy to be that guy. It’s responding to emails, posting your contact information, contributing for free to communities and adding value, it’s about embracing instead of infiltrating. Look at Jason, he thought that del.icio.us would be a big source of traffic for Mahalo so he has his own incredibly active account there and now he can leverage that in any number of ways. I’m one of those guys at Rudius. I’m 20 years old, I wasn’t entitled to be but I went ahead and did it. And now, it helps me at the Agency because I have an idea about how these communities work and what they need. You can be that guy at whatever company you work at too. Find someone to protect you as you develop and build–or do it on your own behind the scenes (it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission). People who control assets don’t get fired and if they do, they still walk away owning something.
Remember Robert’s 5th Law: So much depends on your reputation–guard it with your life. Getting to be that guy is easy, staying there is hard. Having just that tiny bit of knowledge creates all sorts of pressure from people to exploit it. Like I said before, they’ll want the benefits without paying the cost–to have cede and control at the same time. They don’t care about you or the audience, they only care about now. Think about it, just 3 years of blogging made Steve Rubel more powerful and recognizable than the owner of the national corporation he worked for. It would be short-sighted to sell out now or think that your leveraged as peaked. As always, you only get to cash in your chips once, so do it right.
Hey Ryan, do you by any chance take requests?
I am just about to finish reading Fight Club and after that I plan on reading Viktor Frankl’s, Man’s Search For Meaning.
I would love to read what you have to say about them.
I’m just curious, with this kind of output are you still writing everything in your head as you run?
Thanks for mentioning Michael Raynor a while back btw, he’s attending my University to teach his strategies from his book, which should be very helpful towards what I want to create.
Tell Michael I said hello. Have you read his book? It’s great. I’m still writing in my head–I do it on my Blackberry a lot too.
You can drop me an email about the books and we’ll go over them. Those are two of my favorites.
I read his book a while back… and hundreds after (so I don’t remember specifics); it resonated with me for a while, gave me a different perspective of planning if I remember correctly.
To be honest, if I remember correctly, it was more complicated than the level I was at, at that point-I was still more interested in reading Plato and Machievelli summarized than their originals. I’ve come a long way since then though. I’ll have to give it another read-probably buy it after seeing the man.
I work at Home Depot to pay off my loans while gearing up for law school and helping my father keep his new business going. Today I listened to a man, who is responsible for ensuring deliveries come in and get to the right doorstops, go on for five highly passionate minutes about how Home Depot was fucking stupid for always going with the low bidder.
They save maybe 200 dollars a month on paper, but end up paying thousands in damages caused by shipping, abysmal service, and bad PR generated by dissatisfied customers. He was mostly bitching about how he had to take the hit for it, instead of the management who set up the whole thing in the first place. I asked if management would actually listen to him and he said “When pigs fly. That paper money is too important.”
Would you pay slightly more money for a product/ service with a greater chance of not having problems? This stupid shit is why mom and pop stores have a chance to surge back and grab some of that lost market share.
So I take it this is your non-rant on people asking too many questions without offering anything in return?
No, not really. I do get a lot of that but this is different. If you’re a CEO or in the position to speak for a company, the people who are asking things of you have already given something in return: Their money (or attention). If you want to keep it, you’re obligated to serve them.
Very interesting… as always! Cheers from -Switzerland-.