10 Things I Learned at Disney

Pants
  1. There are a lot more disabled people in the world that I thought. Glad that they can all get around at Disney. 
  2. Fastpass is awesome but I felt guilty passing people who have been waiting 2 hours to go to the front of the line.
  3. You can’t comprehend how happy a little kid is at seeing the magic kingdom for the first time.
  4. Kids can fall asleep anywhere if they are tired, even on top of you on your shoulders.
  5. The Rainforest Cafe is a crazy place to eat dinner at. Great food and surprisingly apart of our meal plan.
  6. Disney employees are remarkably nice and enjoy their jobs. Everyone from the person who picked Ellie up and sang her happy birthday without asking anything, the hot dog vendor who put magic in our lunch, everyone who said Happy Birthday Ellie when walking by, the hotel maid who gave us stickers when Ellie slammed her hand in the door, the bus driver back to the airport at 6AM this morning who made everyone say we had a good time,
  7. The animal and princess characters are really cool. They all stayed perfectly in character and had quite witty remarks for the parents.
  8. Country Bear Jamboree and A Small World have not changed once in 20 years since I was last there.
  9. Storms in Orlando be crazy. Lock your stroller wheels unless you like to play stroller derby in the rain with hundreds of other strollers.
  10. I cried on the bus ride back to the airport. The little nemo fish story got me. I had an amazing time and am so proud of great family I had to go with me. Learned that I’m madly in love with my kids and family. Thanks to all that made this trip so memorable. Tell next time!

Never Give Up

Now, that's a fish!

The Proud FishermanI was over at my friend Paolo’s house the over day to fix some stuff on the Festa Italiana Charlotte site (by the way get your tickets soon). We were going through the normal stuff and like usual I was asking him all the (annoying) questions I normally do. I saw an interesting photo of him and his wife in front of a bright blue house. It was a house that he stayed at on part of his 2 week vacation to the Bahamas which was mainly spent on a large boat his friend was captaining.
We got into more about the details of the trip and Paolo shows me this photo of a fish that he caught. I was thinking about the boat I stayed on my awesome trip to Tortolla and that the boat we were on really wasn’t a fishing boat.

I immediately went into asking about how he caught this fish. As the story goes, he had some spare time on the boat (actually I think this is all you get aside from sun burn) so he got some fishing line, a hook and some meat…and just went to town. Also, sounds like most everyone was poking fun at him too and didn’t think that he could catch anything. He spent a couple days at it, on and off. Eventually something hooked overnight and when they woke up to everyone’s amazement, he noticed that there was a fish on there. He put some thick boat gloves on and wound the line around one of the boat’s sail line thingees. He said it was pretty tough but he could do 1 revolution then take a break, plus I think the fish had been hooked a while thus was a bit tuckered out. Anyrate, he eventually hauled the monster up to the boat and literally grabbed it with his hands and a spear and threw it on board (also looks like he used a rope perhaps from the photo). They didn’t have a grill or anything large enough so they found a shack who prompted de-boned the beast and cooked it up. That has got to be one of the tastiest meals Paolo ever had.

So, if people are poking fun at your hair brained idea, trust yourself and heart. Keep trying and maybe you can feed the entire village too.

 

Animals of Entertainment

So we just got some free tickets to the local circus.  The free is a bit misleading to me after the overpriced parking and stuffed animals marked up 100x. I know you are thinking I’m a horrible Dad for even thinking such horrible things… but this isn’t even the main thing that I’m complaining about.

I had held out going for a long time to the circus until about a year ago my wonderful in laws bought us front row tickets. It was cool and everything seeing the clowns and acrobats jump around and do some really cool stuff. The animals were amazing to watch perform tricks also. Being the animal nut I am though I couldn’t stop thinking what these animals went through in order to get to the point where they could do these awesome tricks.

Just like when I would go to the grocery and pick up some chicken. It looks great and all, packaged under shiny, sanitary plastic wrap but I can’t think what the chicken was like before it got turned in boneless 85/15 tenderloins. Many seem to able to overlook this connection and won’t want to talk with me about it. When I do feel comfortable enough to ask someone if they could kill… say a cow in order to eat a hamburger almost everyone completely deflects from my question, because of what I assume is the overwhelming guilt of the reality of their actions. Of course you wouldn’t kill a helpless cow (this is very detailed), man I sound like a wus writing this don’t I?

So, back to the point of the circus. How could these animals do these amazing tricks? Well after doing a bit of research it looks like although Barnum has tried to make small tweaks in their image, I think they are still pretty mean. Regardless of being cruel to the animals and even if they had a magic way to get the animals to jump through hoops, I’d still feel guilty watching animals jump through hoops knowing circuses are not what they are suppose to do.

My In Laws

Sally & Don Olin

In laws get a bad wrap. Not sure why this is but people joke that they don’t like theirs and I personally know many that aren’t liked.

Well, I’m different than most and this case is no exception. I absolutely love my in laws.

For instance, as you know Jen and I are expecting our new baby in January.  We have all kinds of baby stuff (mostly given to us by my in laws) that we used when Ellie was just a tiny squirt… clothes, bottle cleaners, blankets etc etc (if you’ve got a kid, you know it’s a lot). Well, we didn’t need this anymore after Ellie got older so we put this stuff into my in laws storage locker. So, we call up Don (my father in law) this past weekend and he instantly agrees to meet us at the storage unit and unload and schlep this stuff across town. And the topper is that Jen’s car was broken so we were already borrowing Don’s car and used it for hauling.

They have both helped me tons with my professional life, being one of my first Mouse & Man clients, participating in the short lived M&M board of advisors, referrals for new business and advice on all kinds of business things that I don’t know but am slowly learning.

Throughout the week they are always asking how they can help. Can they make our lives any easier? How can they help? They are such giving people…so I wanted to publicly give them a small piece back and show how awesome they are. They are caring people. They give so much and have definitely given a ton for me, for that I’ll always be thankful.

…but they are my in laws, so don’t get any crazy ideas. Step off!

In case you don’t know who they are, here are their cute mugs.

Jenga – Great Branding

There is no doubt Jenga is a lot of fun. I’m sure you’ve seen it or played it or remember some of those old school commercials. In case you didn’t here is one:

Anyrate, I was just playing a quick game with Ellie before she went off to school this morning. I was thinking that all this really is is a bunch of blocks with a nice sticker on it. We think it is a great game and the rules and all but they have done such a great job of branding and packaging it up that we easily overlook how simple this is. I can see the guys sitting around the table…”Hey, lets put some wood blocks in a box and sell it for like 10x COGS.” What a great example of wonderful and clever branding.

Orkin Rat Commercial Campaign

I just love the new Orkin rat commercials.

Seems like they are so different than many other commercials right now and really catch my attention. I wonder who made them?

I commonly watch some TV in the background as I begin the day in the o dark early. Seems I’ve seen this a number of times and just laugh out loud each time I see it.

“YOU…are not suppose to be home until Sunday.” Completely caught me off guard. I think everyone was expecting the rats to drop the guitars and run off…like normal rats. Just a great campaign using something very simple and plain (pest control) but done well using creativity.

 

WordPress Resume Templates

I’m writing this post as a follow up to this post I did earlier this week.

So, I’ve been doing some research about creating WordPress themes. ThemeForest.net is a favorite of mine that I’ve used a number of times. Looks like they’ve already got a number of themes related to this resume or job category but only one is a wordpress theme. My idea was to allow non technical people a neat way to stand out. Here is the only wordpress theme I could find on Theme Forest:

Here are a couple of my non WordPress favorites:

So, looks like I’ll be building my first wordpress theme after all. Look forward to more posts about this.

Can’t Get a Job?

There are some cool ways I’ve seen out there for getting a job. They go against the grain of the traditional resume submission channels. Seems as if there are still plenty of people out there posting and submitting to Monster and Career Builder but I am not sure that this the most efficient use of a job seeker’s time. This new way to get noticed is much different than just really nice resume paper or cool type font.

I’ve read a couple great posts related to this topic:

I really liked the web page that Loren did here at lorenburton.com. However, I’m thinking that most people don’t know how to create something as cool as Loren’s site. Now, Loren is a front end web designer so it’s going to be hard to recreate that level of quality from someone who is well… not that talented. However, I wonder if I could create a WordPress theme to make this happen for those people that don’t really know web programming but want to stand out. These are the reasons why I think this might work:

  • WordPress is pretty much usable by anyone with a basic understanding of the Interwebs
  • WordPress is free (outside of hosting)
  • I’ve never created a WordPress theme before and would likely spend a lot of time to perfect it (not sure if that is a good or bad thing yet)
  • Themes can have multiple color/look combinations so that your “personalized hire me page” wouldn’t look exactly like everyone else who is using this theme

In addition to this theme I think if you have maybe a 100 bucks you could create an Adwords ad and target it just to show to people within the company you are targeting AND only when they are searching for their own brand. Heck there are even ‘free’ coupons that Google gives away to get people started with Adwords. This is a bit more detailed though and will be done in another blog.

Charlie Sheen – Craziest Marketer Of All Time?

Seems like the way to get popular in Hollywood is to out crazy the next person. What’s that saying, there is no thing as bad news. 

May I present evidence.
  1. MICHAEL JACKSON DANGLES BABY
  2. SINÉAD RIPS INTO POPE
  3. MEL(T) DOWN
Charlie is no doubt doing his hardest to out craze each star above (and any other to date). Here is some evidence of this:

 

Craze-primer

 

 

 

Compare this against 2010’s fastest rising search query (according to Google), Chatroulette:

 

 

2011-03-14_07321

 

So, there is no doubt that he is trying his hardest to be really crazy but how fruitful will his efforts become? Does he have a hope of recovering from this amount of self induced craziness?

With this said, how do you quantify each celebrities efficiency in turning craziness into cash? Well, thank you for asking. May I present the Hollywood Craziness Marketing Index (HCMI). This index is calculated as follows:

(increase in salary year following the craze release) / (websites citing the celebrities name related to the craze release)

Here are the 3 high profile HCMIs I could collect from recent years:
  1. Brittany Spears
    Britney-spears-80x801 2011-03-29_13121
    ($8,844,000 – $4,238,604) / 4,110,000 = $1.12* 

    * A simple way to read this is about every website citation Britney got for this craze release, she made an additional $1 on top of what she made the year prior.

  2. David Letterman
    David-letterman-80x801 2011-03-29_13021
    ($45M$45M) / 4,470,000 /  = 0** 

    ** I guess the math doesn’t always work out. Maybe try harder next time? David seemed more sympathetic though, which I think limited his downside.

  3. Tom Cruise
    Tom-cruise-2-80x801 2011-03-29_14141
    ($67M – $31M) / 1,550,000 = $21.94

    Tom is by far (of these three) much more versed in HCMI.
Looks like I’m going to have to limit my stars to only those listed from the Forbes annnal surveys and other high profile sites. I’m finding it difficult to find salary data before a craze release.  I’m thinking I might be on to something though. Not that these incidents are the effect of the being able to find the celebrities salary but I’m thinking it might be a part of the result due to the increased exposure. Maybe there is something here. I need to remember the Freakonomics guys though and how they look into cause and effect.
Charlie_sheen_wild_thing110305 2011-03-29_14301

So, getting back to the case at hand. How do we rank Charlie? What will become of him? I think this is yet to be determined but if history is any predictor of the future, then I’m guessing he’ll bank $380M from this excessive batch of craze, assuming he converts to Scientology like Tom.

As a resource to hopeful crazy celebs out there, I’d like to hear some ideas of how you could out crazy Sheen?

 

How Carrots Became the New Junk Food

This is one of the better articles I've read about a relatively "simple" product. I thought it was interesting to read that they changed the growth patterns of carrot bushes (I guess) so they grow the baby carrots better. Good thing though to know that they aren't exploiting adult carrots to give over their babies. I still think veal is the most repulsive thing you could eat, or maybe Foie gras is.

reprinted from http://www.fastcompany.com/node/1739774/print

LATE LAST SPRING, Omid Farhang, vice president and creative director at the advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, started hearing a word around the office: "carrots." He didn't think much of it at first. Crispin specializes in lavish, zeitgeisty campaigns for brands such as Burger King and Old Navy. New clients are often assigned code names, to keep them a secret as long as possible. Carrots probably meant a new campaign for Nike or Frito-Lay. Then Farhang heard the brief. "I was like, Wait, carrots is carrots?" he says, laughing.

Bolthouse Farms sells nearly a billion pounds of carrots a year — the carrots Farhang kept hearing about — under a number of different brand names and supermarket labels. Only Grimmway Farms, a few minutes down the road in Bakersfield, California, sells more, just barely. Together, the two companies control more than 80% of the carrot market in the United States. As produce growers go, they are huge businesses — in Bolthouse's case, between $600 million and $800 million a year in revenue, including premium beverages (carrot juice, of course, as well as açai, fruit smoothies, and vanilla chai) and salad dressings.

The company has been around for nearly a century now, but it boomed in the 1990s, with a breakthrough product. A local grower named Mike Yurosek had become frustrated with all the waste in the carrot business. Supermarkets expected carrots to be a particular size, shape, and color. Anything else had to be sold for juice or processing or animal feed, or just thrown away. Yurosek wondered what would happen if he peeled the skin off the gnarly carrots, cut them into pieces, and sold them in bags. He made up a few test batches to show his buyers. One batch, cut into 1-inch bites and peeled round, he called "bunny balls." Another batch, peeled and cut 2 inches long, looked like little baby carrots.

Bunny balls never made it. But baby carrots were a hit. They transformed the whole industry. Soon, the big growers in Bakersfield were planting fields with baby carrots in mind, sowing three times more seeds per acre, so the carrots, packed densely together, would grow long and skinny, for the maximum number of 2-inch cuts. Yields and profits climbed. The really big deal, the thing nobody expected, was that baby carrots seemed to make Americans eat more carrots. In the decade after they were introduced, carrot consumption in the United States doubled.

Then a couple of years ago, after a decade of steady growth, Bolthouse's carrot sales went flat. Sales of baby carrots, the company's cash carrot, actually fell, sharply, and stayed down. Nobody knew why. This was a big problem.

FOR JEFF DUNN, Coca-Cola was the family business. Dunn's father spent most of his career at the company negotiating huge sponsorship deals around events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics. Just a few years out of college, Dunn followed him. Dunn eventually took over his father's job and became one of the company's top executives, overseeing all of Coca-Cola's businesses in North and South America. Like his father, Dunn considered himself a marketing guy, which made sense for a top executive at a soft-drink company. "We were selling sugar water and fairy dust," Dunn says. "And don't forget the fairy dust."

Three years ago, he became CEO of Bolthouse. His office is across the street from an agricultural machine yard filled with tractors, seeding trucks, and 65,000-pound harvesters. It has been something of a change. Then again, there are similarities. "Carrots are basically a duopoly," he says. "It's Coke and Pepsi." And when he looked at his flagging sales, he wondered if some fairy dust might help.

Dunn put together a series of focus groups and surveys and discovered something interesting. People said they were eating as many carrots as they always had. But the numbers clearly showed they were buying fewer. What people meant, it turned out, was they were as likely as ever to keep carrots in the fridge. When the recession hit, though, they became more likely to buy regular carrots, instead of baby carrots, to save money. But people used to eating baby carrots weren't taking the time to wash and cut the regular ones. And unlike baby carrots, which dry out pretty quickly once a bag is opened, regular carrots keep a long time. So people were buying regular carrots and then not eating them, and not buying more until the carrots they had were finally gone or spoiled.

Bolthouse had never marketed its baby carrots. It just sent truckloads to supermarkets, where they got piled up in the produce aisle. Dunn assembled a small team and studied advertising campaigns for other agricultural commodities, such as almonds, avocados, eggs, and milk. They were shocked at what they found. "Every campaign paid back," Dunn says. "Every single one. Between 2 and 10 times."

[Still life by Jamie Chung]

So they drafted a brief to circulate to ad agencies. "Carrots have an appealing personality. Fun, fun-loving, friendly. High-energy. Visually appealing," they explained. "Baby carrots are the best form factor of carrots." Dunn was clear: He didn't want a health campaign, one that talked about beta carotene or cutting calories. He wanted something more emotional, maybe something funny, something that appealed to impulse rather than responsibility — the kind of thing a soft-drink or snack-food company might do.

Dunn's team talked to more than 20 agencies. One firm pitched a commercial with a vegetable army, baby carrots in the lead, storming a beach defended by junk food. Another proposed pairing two unlikely celebrities together, or maybe rival politicians, with the punch line "Look who's having a baby!" Dunn kept a memento from the proposal he liked best, a large model of a carrot ripping through a jelly doughnut, red jelly oozing from the exit wound. Nothing, though, seemed quite right. Even the outrageous ideas tended to come back to avoiding junk food and eating healthier.

Then something unusual happened. One of the agencies recommended a rival firm, Crispin Porter + Bogusky. They thought the sensibility Dunn was fishing for sounded like Crispin's work. Dunn figured there was no way Bolthouse had the profile or the resources to hire a firm like Crispin. But he called them anyway. "You guys are kind of late to the game," he said, "but do you want to take a crack at this?"

A MONTH LATER, Dunn flew to Boulder, Colorado. Crispin had decorated its modern, glass conference room like a barn, with bales of hay stacked all around and a wooden bolthouse farms sign over the door. Farhang, the creative director, wasn't sure about the barn. It's possible these guys may find this offensive, he thought. They aren't a bunch of bumpkins.

The presentation began with some ethnography. Crispin had done its own behavioral research, lurking in kitchens around the Boulder area. Staffers had watched suburban moms unpack their groceries and studied where kids looked for snacks when they got home from school. Kids seldom went to the refrigerator; instead, they went straight for the cupboards or the pantry. If they did go to the fridge, baby carrots were at least visible, out on a shelf. Full-size carrots, though, always went in the vegetable drawer. "The drawer of death," one kid called it. Adults weren't particularly fond of the vegetable drawer either. They tended to associate it with all the vegetables they buy and forget, and then discover weeks later, limp and leaking. A strategy began to emerge. Let regular carrots be the vegetable.

"Everyone else pitched baby carrots as an antidote to junk food," Dunn says. "Where Crispin came out was almost the exact opposite. We want to be junk food."

Farhang and his colleagues unveiled storyboards with concepts for a series of winking, self-aware junk-food ads. One ad featured a baby-carrot-branded spray tan, endorsed by Snooki, the star of MTV's Jersey Shore. ("Doritos could potentially do something like that, with the cheese-dusted color of their product," Farhang explains.) In another, a sultry model, surrounded by billowing black silk, runs a carrot slowly across her lips as a voice-over purrs about indulgence — think Dove chocolates. The best one seemed inspired by a Mountain Dew commercial. A skater dude rides a jet-powered shopping cart through a desert pass, dodging baby-carrot gunfire. Things blow up. There's a pterodactyl. "Extreme pterodactyl!" the voice-over yells.

"To have a great advertising idea, you have to get at the truth of the product," Farhang explains. "The truth about baby carrots is they possess many of the defining characteristics of our favorite junk food. They're neon orange, they're crunchy, they're dippable, they're kind of addictive."

Bolthouse didn't have much to gain from a house-branded campaign since it sells under many labels, and a generic campaign like "Got Milk?" might convince its rival, Grimmway, to share the cost, so Crispin made baby carrots the star. "It's not about making baby carrots cool," Crispin CEO Andrew Keller stresses. "It's about getting baby carrots into a different category."

Crispin imagined individual snack packs made of opaque, crinkly plastic, like a potato-chip bag, with bold, junk-food-style graphics (the new packaging would cost about 25% more than traditional veggie bags, but Dunn could justify it as a marketing expense). "People are now grabbing a bag of these, you know, eating them in the car," Dunn's marketing chief, Bryan Reese, says. They'd look right at home by a convenience-store checkout. Farhang and his colleagues showed ideas for a baby-carrot vending machine, too, and a chilled carrot jar, like a cookie jar, that might stay out on the counter. Bolthouse's traditional packaging worked only for the produce aisle and the kitchen fridge, and it asked more of people. "You know, unzip the 2-pound bag of baby carrots …" Reese says, in a weary voice. "Grab a few baby carrots … rezip it …" We might remember this as an unfortunate cultural milestone, the moment when eating baby carrots became too much work, but Bolthouse wanted people eating more vegetables, and it was looking for whatever would sell.

Just to be safe, Crispin presented a few ideas that brought up healthfulness. But Dunn didn't seem to care. Farhang thought that was smart. "What a silly use of advertising dollars to tell people that vegetables are healthy," he says.

A few weeks later, Farhang was in the California desert, with a film crew. "There's a guy in a shopping cart with a rocket strapped to it, and there's pyrotechnics lining the base of a cliff, and there's a really hot model standing next to a machine gun," he recalls, and laughs. "It's hard not to be nervous. We've got this client that has a genuine desire to change its business, to change the way that people look at carrots forever." And it was planning to spend a huge sum of money for a produce company, in the neighborhood of $25 million. "This isn't Coca-Cola," he says. "We have one shot to get this right."

AT COCA-COLA, Dunn was obsessed with per capita consumption. "Per capita was my mantra," he says. But as he neared the end of his time there, he began to feel conflicted. It was still his job to sell more Coke. But people were drinking a lot of Coke. He talked to his father about it. "If you've got a per capita of three, four, five" — 500 Cokes a year — "that's fine. But there are places in the United States where you have per capitas of 1,000. I can't get my head around somebody drinking 1,000 Cokes a year," Dunn says. "This was before obesity had become as prevalent. But it was pretty clear that's where the world was going. And certainly sugar soft drinks had a direct role in that."

Dunn talks as if he carries some karmic debt, still. (He never doubted Coke enough to quit; he actually angled for CEO, only to be forced out when a rival got the job instead.) But his experience comes with a unique perspective. "If all we do is tell people fruits and vegetables need to be part of their diet or they're not going to be healthy — the rational approach — we have zero chance," he says. "The last 10 years has proven it. There's been so much written and so much government stuff. And per capita consumption isn't up. I believe there's a different approach.

"People will say, 'You open the bag, it's just baby carrots.' Well, it's just Lay's potato chips, it's just Doritos, there's nothing special about them," he says. "They're just cool and part of your life. If Doritos can sell cheeseburger-flavored Doritos, we can sell baby carrots."

[Still life by Jamie Chung]

Crispin's campaign, "Eat 'Em Like Junk Food," debuted last September in two test markets: Syracuse, New York, and Cincinnati. (There are plans to expand the campaign to other markets by this fall.) Three television spots aired, as well as a web series, Munchies, starring two slacker grocery clerks. @babycarrots began tweeting salvos at snack-food rivals: "Yo, @skittles. Taste our rainbow. Of orange." "Elves making cookies with their grubby little elf hands … that can't be sanitary." Display ads, printed up for supermarkets, presented baby carrots as "the original orange doodle," and billboards suggested never fear carrots and beer. Maybe most provocatively, Bolthouse installed baby-carrot vending machines, wrapped in eat 'em like junk food graphics, at a pair of high schools.

By November, sales in Bolthouse's test markets were up 10% to 12% over the year before, compared to minimal improvement or slight decline in a control group. The vending machines were selling 80 to 90 snack packs per week; a number of schools have approached the company about installing their own machines, and Bolthouse is investigating what it would take to scale vending into a real business. In April, it will test its first movie tie-in, with snack packs promoting a new animated comedy, Hop.

"The biggest thing that hasn't worked yet is I haven't gotten my buddy down the street to do it with us," Dunn says. He and Grimmway's CEO have been talking regularly, but just talking, nothing more. (Grimmway's chief, Jeff Meger, declined to comment for this article.)

Meanwhile, nearby, in a room that looks like a cross between a sterile lab and a cluttered kitchen, a white-coated staff has been experimenting with a future phase of the campaign: flavors. Dunn won't say which ones baby carrots might come in, or how Bolthouse will do it — both coatings and infusions have upsides and downsides — only that anything it does will be healthy and natural.

So probably not cheeseburgers. Cool Ranch, though, might want to watch its back.

What Google Doesn’t Want You To Know

I gave a presentation yesterday at Charlotte Regional Technology Executives Council titled What Google Doesn’t Want You To Know. In summary the 6 things that Google doesn’t want you to know are:

1. “Don’t be evil”

2. There are other options

3. Google can be fooled

4. Google can’t do social search

5. The best CTR is free

6. Google is keeping tabs on you

Here’s the presentation:

It’s not your idea, it’s you.

I love the analogy used in this article below about athletes. Being an avid cyclist, I see many investing heavily in their bike or spending $200 on their helmet to shave 50 grams. This is akin I think to spending lots of time on a patent before you have validated your idea in the marketplace. This is something that I felt like I was doing for my startup until a couple friends enlightened me to see the big picture. We are now taking the trade secret route. I guess well see how it plays out.

I couldn’t agree more that you should spend your time and resources on things that have the best return.

Here’s that article from
http://blogs.forbes.com/jeffbercovici/2011/03/11/excerpt-maxim-founder-felix-…

In addition to being a publisher, poet, planter of trees and polyamorist, Felix Dennis, founder of Maxim and The Week magazines, is simply one of the most entertaining people you could hope to converse with. I recently spent two hours plumbing his thoughts for an interview in our current issue. Our conversation covered far more ground than I was able to squeeze into a page and a half of print, so I’ll be posting an extended version Monday. In the meantime, here’s a chapter from Dennis’s new book, “The Narrow Road: A Brief Guide to the Getting of Money.” Chapter 45: On the Fallacy of the Great Idea There is a fallacy rooted in the minds of many who wish to become rich —the fallacy of the great idea. Having a great idea is not enough. It is the manner in which ideas are executed that counts. Implementation will always trump ideas, however good those ideas are. Good ideas are like Nike sports shoes. They may facilitate success for an athlete who possesses them, but on their own they are nothing but an overpriced pair of sneakers. Sports shoes don’t win races. Athletes do. I have lost count of the number of men and women who have approached me with their “great idea,” as if this, in and of itself, was their passport to instant wealth. The idea is not a passport. At most, it is the means of obtaining one. In some instances, a fixation on a great idea can prove hazardous, distracting your attention from the perils and pitfalls you will inevitably encounter on the narrow road. If you never have a single great idea in your life, but become skilled in executing the great ideas of others, you can succeed beyond your wildest dreams. They do not have to be your ideas —execution is all. When confronted with a great idea, your reaction should be to scrupulously analyze its commercial potential in the context of your own ability to transform that potential into triumph. Ideas don’t make you rich.

—-

May I also add the related posts on Forbes are spot on. I wonder if this is human curated or complete machine code. If the latter I would love to know that math.