A few weeks ago I wrote about being authentic and genuine, both as a brand and a person. Unfortunately, there's a downside to always being authentic, because that can lead to incredible rudeness. How do you balance "being yourself" with being professional in the workplace?
I've come to realize that brand building is a lot like having kids. Much as you want to, at some point you simply can't control their lives. All you can do is lay a strong foundation. Then you have to cast them adrift on the vicissitudes of life and hope they bounce in the right direction more often than not. It's a crap shoot, so you damn well better hedge your bets.
My wife and I spent some time on a Saturday afternoon shopping for eyeglasses, and found the future of optometry will be unlimited variation, with glasses customized to be one of a kind. I couldn't help but think of Barry Schwartz, a psychologist and author whose TED Talk, "The Paradox of Choice," asks some complicated questions. Just because we can offer a product in a myriad of variations, does that choice provide consumers with helpful options -- or, at some point does it shift the role of creating taste, style and function from brands to the consumer?
Brian Wieser from Pivotal Research is a wise man. He is also a bit of a contrarian at times. For instance, he predicts that Facebook and Google continue to be on course for complete digital advertising domination (he says the two will make up over 90% of all digital ad dollars by 2022). At the same time, though, he has a "sell" recommendation for Facebook,
Silicon alleys and valleys are littered with the remains of startups that dressed up to be SaaS. Some of them, to get rich quick, positioned themselves as SaaS platforms whether they were or not. In practice, you get a lot of runway when your valuation goes from not-SaaS to SaaS. Suddenly your company will be worth more than double! Whether by deceit or naivete, the roots of failure go back to decisions made in the beginning.
I wanted to take a second to recognize the hard work done this week by the illustrious folks engaged in the battle for good PR, facing enormous challenge as they try to engineer marketers' big "coming out" week.
Our world is a hyper-connected feedback loop that constantly engenders the "unprecedented": storms, blockbusters, presidents. In this world, historical balance has disappeared and all bets are off.
Who will own the consumer? Each year, the battlefield shifts. It's the flatscreen, it's mobile, it's the Internet of Things, it's virtual/augmented reality. And each year, a hundred thousand thought leaders, early adopters, journalists, and product proselytizers make the post-New Years' trudge to Las Vegas to try and claim a leadership position on the next new thing. This year, there's only one all-out war: voice activation.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday -- whatever you choose to celebrate -- and a terrific New Year´s celebration. I myself have returned to the place where my mother spent her formative years: Mar del Plata, Argentina. As a kid and young adult, I spent a lot of time here. In fact, my two oldest friends are from Mar del Plata, despite the obvious challenges presented by distance and ever-changing circumstances. There were others, no less loved, with whom I had lost contact. Facebook's great, but nothing beats bumping into someone on the street whom you haven't seen …
I'm kicking off 2018 with a single word: authentic. Authenticity is an important thing. It's required when you are building a brand, whether that's a personal or a corporate one.