It’s interesting how I hear the same words from many mouths. Over and over. Someone will have an idea, and then others will echo that idea. In the process, I have this feeling that people are outsourcing their thinking.
Outsourcing your thinking?
My son told me that most of the people he followed on Tumblr didn’t like the Minions movie. (This was an hour before we were to sit in a theater somewhere and watch it.) I asked him if he was going to let those people judge the movie or if he would judge it for himself. On the way out of the theater, he said, “I think Tumblr was wrong. I liked the movie.”
It was an interesting experience, having a bunch of negative people show up to see what I’d talk about. They were mostly mad that I said I didn’t like a piece of software that they like. It’s really funny to me. Just because I have an opinion that’s counter to their opinion about a software that neither of us created, I’m a jerk. That’s my first takeaway. People are pretty passionate about Periscope.
My Position Remains Unchanged
My point is that it’s kind of a messy way to build your business. It is effective for what it does. It’s helpful insofar as it lets you build some relationship-like connectivity by showing people your live and wobbly face. And I see the value in the intimacy. But to me, if you have two hours in a day to devote to the online channel for building your business, I’d rank this one last.
Here’s the Thing
If you sign up after reading what I just wrote, please hit REPLY when you get your confirmation and say “Periscope sent me.”
I just logged onto Periscope. I did it mostly because Derek Halpern said this. If you love Periscope, read that. Because I don’t love Periscope.
Periscope is Not Interesting To Me
The premise is simple: live video in real time. Okay, cool. Except, it’s not especially useful for my business. It’s INTERESTING, but it’s not USEFUL.
The air inside the Brooklyn Bowl smells like well worn leather, sawdust, and evidently hops (from the nearby Brooklyn Brewery, but I’ll get back to them). All around me are authentic Coney Island early 20th century amusement park props, like the tin targets from shooting galleries. There’s a band putting their gear together onstage for an evening event, lots of percussion and fewer amps, so I’m guessing it’ll be some kind of folk or world music. In front of me, Charley Ryan, cofounder of the Brooklyn Bowl (with partner Peter Shapiro) is pressing his business card into my hands and is about to say the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard while receiving a business card.
“I hope my phone number goes from this card into your phone and that you use it whenever you want to get in touch.”
My son, Harold, is huge into video games and video game culture. He knows more weird and deep-level memes and obscure details than you’ll ever know. Harold has convinced me to take him to the SCG Convention in Texas. To say he’s hyped and excited is to really underplay how he feels about it.
As part of this, I’ve encouraged Harold to do as much of the planning and deciding as possible. Harold chose the Aloft hotel chain. Swell by me. He picked it because he loved the videos. I prepaid for the days of the conference. And then, I ran into a snag.
I’m sprawled out on my bed writing to you. My son is reading a copy of Retro Gamer and my daughter is playing Splatoon (it’s a Wii game that your kid probably wants). Lately, I’ve been thinking about this blog, about you, about my business, about what I stand for. That kind of stuff.
The Biggest Competitive Advantage I Have is Openness and Honesty
But that sounds like I’m trying to be virtuous. I’m not. I just think it’s easier/better/faster to just tell you what I think and feel, instead of worrying.
My son, Harold, found out quite by surprise that he really likes puppets. He pretty much had to have this Kermit the Frog puppet. What we did with it was quite interesting. And in the process, I found myself thinking about me, then you, and about us. About all of us. And about something I’m not sure I’ve yet shared in this specific way.
The Magic of Puppets
When you put a puppet on your hand, you empower someone else to speak for you. You can say things you might not say from your own lips. Because hey, it’s a puppet. Puppets are like a super power.
I’m a big fan of the work of Dr Nick Morgan. In my circles, when people ask me advice about how to be a better professional speaker, I tell a somewhat backhanded and loving story about how I paid for a day of Dr. Morgan’s time, hellbent on having him make me a much better speaker. I loved everything he had to say. It was brilliant, full of really important details and ideas. And I couldn’t really make good use of any of it.
Dr. Morgan mentions it in this post. For instance, “The good news for you conference organizers, then, is that if you hire Chris you’ll get something largely new each time. In spite of my best efforts.”. (emphasis mine)
I’m working on some interesting stuff as it relates to both bigger businesses as well as small businesses. I’m interested in how better use of data could open up a whole big slice of not-yet-tapped economic value for companies (again both bigger and smaller). It’s times like this where I feel bad for people who think I’m the “social media guy.” I’m thinking about velocity as it applies to marketing. Meaning, if we knew something faster, could we add more value and help someone better?
Velocity as a Marketing Tool
I was in Atlanta the other day for 20 hours. During that time, the services that would have been of value to me might have been: