Matt W. Kane

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Rebooting your business. Reboot your life.

Mitch Joel—2013


  • The concept for Instapaper—and its rapid ascent—makes it worth millions. At this point, it’s hard to tell what the true valuation would be, because Arment has fully self-funded the service and acts as the sole employee. The only real question is this: if a multimillion-dollar business can be developed and managed by one person with a laptop in an apartment, what happens to your business and your job as this rapid innovation and digitization continues to ripple through every industry’.


CHAPTER 1 From Me to You. The shift toward direct relationships with consumers.

  • The client’s idea was to create a new e-commerce brand online that housed only their own brand-name products but would feel like a new online player. This was their last chance. While they constantly battled with retailers over the rights to sell their own products directly to consumers online, the time had come to draw a line in the sand. This project became the hope and prayer to save the business. They would use this online business as a place to start a direct relationship with the consumer.
  • Notwithstanding how the major retailers might have felt about this project—in terms of how it would not only cannibalize their business but perhaps keep customers away—it would have been a very smart and wise play for the brand to make. For a brand to truly shape its own destiny, it must lead the relationship with the consumer as well. I was fully behind this initiative… so what happened? The company never pulled the trigger on their e-commerce project, and now they’re busy scrambling for ‘Tikes” on Facebook and are selling their products through the handful of big-box retailers left. Ironically, other, scrappier startups have disrupted this traditional retail model with digital-only brands hat are capturing the imagination (and money) of consumers all over the world.
  • They’re asking consumers to ‘Tike” them on Facebook while few actually make an effort to connect to those individuals on their own spaces. Here’s a hint: Instead of ask start liking these people first?

CHAPTER 2: Give me Utility (or give me death)

  • In the Digiday news item “Saving Abandoned Brand Mobile Apps” March 29, 2012), Giselle Abramovich reports one in four mobile apps never used again after being downloaded in a 26% of apps aren’t used more than once.

CHAPTER 3 Built to Touch

CHAPTER 4 Sex with Data

  • ‘Gartner Group reported that “by 2017, a CMC will spend more on IT than the CIO

CHAPTER 5 The One Screen World

Interlude It’s time to get personal.

  • Turkic is a professor at MIT and the author of the fascinating book Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.

CHAPTER 6 Digital erectus

CHAPTER 7 The Long and Squiggly Road

  • We talked for a bit, and then I half jokingly said, “It’s crazy that your current life is based on a few random decisions you made when you were sixteen.\
  • True adaptation will come from how well you can get over what I call “the lazy” and move to a place where squiggly becomes your friend.
  • We’re not talking about imploding everything. We’re talking about a reboot. We’re talking about thinking about things in a squiggly way. There is no doubt that certain strategies and tactics work. But it’s the lazy mentality that will take you down. The truth is that most chief marketing officers don’t keep their jobs for much more than twenty months (although a recent survey by executive recruitment firm Spencer Stuart places tenure at forty-three months).

CHAPTER 8 The New Way We Work

  • When I speak to groups I often ask people to raise their hands if they are the type of people who, on any given Sunday night can’t wait for Monday morning. I’m not talking about those who are happy to get back to work because they’re tired of their kids crying or having to pick the laundry off the floor. I’m talking about the people who are like wild racehorses at the gates when the horns are about to sound. They simply cannot wait to get rolling. To get up and take on that new day… those new opportunities. You won’t be surprised to know how often that question incites chuckling, laughter, and the shaking of heads. If someone does raise a hand, there are typically a bunch of comments like “Quit sucking up because your boss is here,” and a half-coughed “Loser.’
  • Last year, I had the pleasure of speaking to the New York Git; chapter of EG (Entrepreneurs’ Organization). Founded in 1987 as a support group and network for entrepreneurs, the group now a global business network consisting of eight-thousand-p business owners with over one hundred twenty chapters in forty countries. These are people who don’t want to succeed… they have to succeed. They are driven by a passion for success. They s see being an entrepreneur not as a vocation, but as a lifelong pursuit. It is the work that they were meant to do. When I asked them that same exact question, take a guess as to how many hands when raised? Yes. The entire room. (The only exceptions were a couple of spouses in attendance. They just looked to their partners knowingly, acknowledging the people that they chose to spend the rest of their lives with.) So who do you think the future belongs to? Those who can’t wait for Monday or those who are dreading it? Which category do you fall into?
  • Patrick’s comment sums up the new work posture. No entrepreneur takes on initiatives to have work/life balance. Personally, I don’t search for new clients, write blog posts daily, podcast, speak at events all over the world, or write articles or business books to achieve work/life balance. I do all of this (and run a hundred-plus-person marketing agency) because it’s that work that I was meant to do. I’m not bragging. Just stating that what [do plays a major part in who I am. What about you? While you may read this as unhealthy, I took my opportunity to dig c deeper into Patrick’s comment over dinner with him.
  • Make yourself Indispensable
  • You don’t win by being more average than other people your industry,” Godin continues. “You don’t win by being; more compliant than your fellow co-workers. Being more obedient at what you do every day is not going to make you more indispensable. What makes someone indispensable is that they do something that other people can’t do… We go to work every day trying to not do that. We go to work trying to be just like everyone else, because that feels safe. In today’s economy, and for the foreseeable future, that’s the riskiest thing we can do.

CHAPTER 9 The marketing of You

  • Nothing happens without knowing how to pitch an idea.
  • Book: The Art of the Pitch: Persuasion and Presentation Skills That Win Business.
  • We’re not there to sell a campaign or have people from within our organization demonstrate how intelligent they are. We observe convention and plug people into holes to fill the room and look big. There was one instance, early in my career, where we defied convention. We decided that I, alone, would present to the client. That’s what we II did. I did an hour and a half alone with just some videos and creative work to show. I left the stage after my pitch, looked out into the seats and saw that people were crying. When you can make them cry, you win,” he laughs.

CHAPTER 10 Work the Space

CHAPTER 11 Your Life in Startup Mode

CHAPTER 12 Embracing the Next

  • ‘Someone messing about with something in a positive sense that is, using playful cleverness to achieve a goal.” Hacking away at something in small chunks or reprogramming bits and pieces of the media is what will define the future of media. It’s also what will define the future of whatever industry you serve. Soon enough, every business will be in the business of hacking and employing hackers to re-imagine the next generation of business models.