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    Socialdipity
    My fourth book is called "Z.E.R.O.," although it was originally meant to be called "Socialdipity: Serendipity in a Social World and a Social Age." The idea behind socialdipity was really twofold: 1. We are social animals. We thrive on interactions with, and connections between, other people. 2. Social media has allowed us to fulfill this social want or need -- and in some cases, created experiences which otherwise were not possible.
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    It's Time To Face The Truth About The Marketing Trap
    "How many signups did we get last week?" he asked. I flinched inwardly, then told him, anticipating the inevitable. The inevitable was, of course, what I got: dismay, anger, blame. "We have to hit our targets for the month," he raged, "because I have no way to explain it to the board if we don't. Do whatever you have to do." I did what I had to do. I beefed up AdWords spend. I sponsored Facebook posts. I promoted YouTube vids. I got the signups. And then I had to explain the cost per acquisition.
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    The Definition Of Insanity -- Or, Manual Practices In The Agency Business
    Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." If you've been involved in digital marketing, and specifically the agency business, for any length of time over the last 20 years, you've probably felt this insanity at least a few times. The agency business is in a transition period right now, from one that is manual and idea-driven to one that is more automated, enterprise-solution-oriented and data-driven. We're seeing efficiency and technology brought to the buying process, the creative process and other areas where inefficiency has been bred, ...
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    SXSWi Postmortem
    As I write this column, I'm wrapping up an immersive five days at SXSWi 2014. Following are some observations from the Austin-based event that keeps growing and everyone seems to be talking about:
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    Can Brands Selfie Themselves To Increased Market Share?
    The Oscars are well and truly in the history books. Especially so because of the Ellen selfie, using a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. And perhaps a little due to a Coca-Cola-branded pizza box, and a mangled Broadway star's name. But let me ask you this: Did any of it matter from a marketing perspective?
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    Three Simple Rules To Dramatically Increase Your Start-up's Chance Of Success
    I was pretty hoity-toity last week. I talked about existential crises, communicating who you truly are, finding those people who resonate deeply with you and forging a joyful connection with them. I spoke about the communication being a dynamic relationship, about alignment and culture, about values, and filters, and worldviews. But sometimes things are a lot simpler than that.
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    Is SXSWi Actually More Relevant Than Ever Now?
    If you're headed to South by Southwest Interactive this weekend, as I am, there's a very good chance that you're complaining about it. It's too big and corporate. It's full of -- shocker! -- marketers instead of geeks now. It's been impossible to get housing downtown unless you're willing to sell a kidney on Craigslist. The Driskill Hotel won't be fun for late-night drinks anymore because some sports marketers have taken over the whole place. You know the drill.
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    Raise Your Kids To Not Be A 'Glasshole'
    The Urban Dictionary defines "glasshole" as "a person who constantly talks to their Google Glass, ignoring the outside world" or "someone who has early access or is in possession of Google Glasses, and flaunts them around like a jerk." These definitions are spot-on. I hope all of us who are parents are raising our kids in the right way, ensuring we don't raise a generation of glassholes.
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    Amtrak Should Expand Its Writers' Residency Program To Business Professionals
    My work these days takes me from New York to Washington, D.C. every month. I always take Amtrak's Acela high-speed train because it is a little more civilized, faster and has better WiFi. My New York-D.C. train trip has become my most cherished time for thinking and writing. I wish Amtrak would offer trips to nowhere!
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    Startups Care More About Consumers Than Established Brands Do
    I just returned from San Francisco, where I attended Jason Calacanis' LAUNCH conference, a place where a whole host of startups get on a highly visible stage in front of tech's mover and shaker elite and... LAUNCH themselves.However, it was the Consumer VC panel that delivered my moment of Zen, when VCs talked about what they looked for in successful entrepreneurs, founders and startups. The VCs spoke about the question that they ask entrepreneurs -- and, indeed, what startup founders ask of each other: "How many experiments did you do last week?" I was struck by a realization that startups ...
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