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Books & Articles I wrote.

Monday, August 01, 2005



Today is the first day of my new 2.0. I have left work and I am going it alone - or at least with you folks for company. Now ...

There's something quite worrying when i read a book written by Seth Godin. For one, it looks out of place amonst the 400 page books that typically sit next to it. I bought Idea Virus a couple of year ago. Yesterday I bought Purple Cow. On both occassions i thought "Compared to the other books, so few pages but around the same price". On both occassions i bought them. What's worrying is that I have to read it all as quickly as possible.

I got the book at 4pm yesterday. I finished it 10 minutes ago (6.45 AM). I got up at 4 AM this morning as some idiot was discussing "team players" on his mobile phone with some other idiot at the top of his voice. Yes, i did see the irony in having a mobile when you talk as loud as that. I like his books for two reasons - they tell you what you should know - or at least what you need to learn. Secondly I have contacted him on a number of occassions and every time he gets back to me. Others often don't and by him taking the time not only to reply, but to actually comment on something i point him at, tells me he's in touch with what's going on. He's not passive. He's active. I want to be more like that. More connected with what is actually going on. Now, rather than just saving a link, i go to it. TagHop has helped me do that of course - rather than just throwing a link in my favourites, if i'm prepared to save it to taghop, i may as well thing about it a bit more - and it's paying off! It has also been my desire to follow a bit about what is going on - at least to know about it even if i can't delve into it all.

Back to Purple Cow. It has made me change how taghop will go on from now. I am going for an extreme - yet to be determined. What market really, REALLY, REALLY needs something like taghop? GOT AN IDEA? Tell me.

So, milking the cow. Here are my cribs. They may not be 100% as they are sometimes my interpretation, but they should point you in the right direction.

Customers rely on true and tried suppliers and their network of trusted friends.

There are more choices available, but less time.

All the obvious markets have gone.

Customers ignore you.

Satisfied customers won't usually tell their friends.

Interrupting media is fading (tv, magazines, newspapers).

OLD RULE : "Create safe ordinary products and combine them with great marketing."

NEW RULE : "Create remarkable products that the right people seek out."

Awareness is not the point - just being known doesn't translate into sales.

Try to change how customers use your product rather than trying to adapt the standard product.

If a product has no future, then rather than investing in the dying product, drop it, move on and invest in something new.

Sell ONLY to innovators and early adopters. Ignore the rest. Build a trust circle around your product.

The product must be remarkable enough to get the attention of early adopters, but flexible enough to be speard through the majority.

Find sneezers, who are early adopters who are often experts and can spread the name of your product.

CREATE A PRODUCT THAT FOCUSES ON A NICHE MARKET. Overwhelm a small market section, dominate the niche and then diffuse to the rest of the market.

Develop products/services/techniques that the market will actively seek out.

Figure out who is listening and use the right combination of Ps to overwhelm them with the rightness of the offer.


Differentiate customers. find the most profitable; the most likely to spread the idea and develop/advertise/reward either group. Ignore the rest. Cater toward the customers you would choose - IF YOU COULD.

Make a list of the competitors who are NOT trying to be everything to everyone.

If you can't catch up by being the same, how can you catch up by being different?

Solving problems and having the allure of cool pays off.

Innovators and early adopters get bored by mass marketed products and ignore them.
The majority are unlikely to listen or say to anyone else even if they do.

Don't make the product BORING.

Make sure you measure so you know what works and doesn't work. Don't ignore.

Once you get the purple cow, (1) milk it for all you can; and (2) reinvest to create the next cow.

How can you make something that is "VERY GOOD", "REMARKABLE"?

Can your product become collectible?

OTAKU is the desrire to learn and stay ahead - not just a requirement. It is a grou who have more than an interest - they have a drive for the product.

Find the market niche and make the product remarkable. Do deal - get in their heads - make partnerships and the rest will follow.

Go to the EDGE. Which edge will deliver the best return? Review the Ps and target this edge.

Can the marketing BE the product rather than ABOUT the product ("leaning tower of Pisa")?

The best products are "too *" for many people but just right for others.

Get permission from the people who you impressed and tell them when the next cow arrives.
Create tools and stories for your sneezers to use.
Once you have gone from remarkable to profitable, get as much as you can.
Reinvest and create new Purple Cows over and over. And Fail over and over.

Find out about the remarkable products in your industry and model them.

The easiest way to know a purple cow is to be an Otaku of the product.

Learn about "projecting" - how can you get inside the heads of the people who may buy your product and what do they need?

Learn the science of projecting. Launching, Watching, Measuring, Learning and Repeating.

Is there a company you can learn from that repeatedly create remarkable products?

AGGRESSIVELY create cheap prototypes (avoid focus groups!).

Every so often, but outrageous - but not always.

If you weren't scared of failing, what's the most audacious thing you would do?

Figure out what people really want and then figure out how to make money from it.

Can and exclusive club and points combination make things seem more unique?

Become irresistable to a small set of people (South Park).

"the people i like and trust"
sneezers are your best form of advertising
keep things simple - simple decisions
Once you've gone through the pain of learning and the associated expense, you're much less
likely to leave it.
Go for individual personalization where possible.
Make dramatic stories that sell.
Very expensive and very customized is remarkable.
You might annoy some, but please others who have that need.
Sometimes the more complex and unique an item, the more relative expense can be added to it.
People may switch for assurance and trust.
Is your product the BEST at anything measurable? Even is that thing being measured will never
be used!
Can you look after your customers in a remarkable way?
People are willing to pay above the odds for better features.
Can you create market beating quality and price? (IKEA)
Look and Sounds unique. How can you differentiate?
Don't put them off before they have started - allow them to control the process.

If there is a limit, test it (cheapest, fastest, slowest, loudest and so on)

Come up with 10 ways to improve a product to target a specific market niche.
Think of a very small niche and overwhlem it.
Copy from remarkable companies in other industries.
Find out who is AT THE EDGE and OUTDO THEM.
Find things that just aren't being done yet and DO THEM.
Ask "why not" for something that isn't being done yet.

So there you have it. My cribs. Read them, get the book, write your own and tell me.

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