Tough times

In tough times, operating in a non revenue generating business gets difficult. All your business may even dry up.

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It doesn’t mean these activites aren’t important, it’s more a reflection of human behaviour. Unless the link of the activity to the transaction is clear – it will get pulled. This is true for consulting, marketing budgets or even your job.  So the question we then must ask is this – how close are we to where money changes hands? Are we close to the transaction or in the backroom somewhere?

The further say we are from the money – the greater redundency exposure we have, in business and employment. Closeness to money is why many real estate agents who are often intellectual dodo’s still make big dollars. I’m sure you can think other examples too.

If you want to be an indispensable business partner in tough times, make sure you are close to the money.

Steve – founder rentoid.com

Company Mantra – It’s in the game!

While watching a documentary on the evolution of video games I heard the coolest company mantra ever.

It was from EA sports, the gaming company which focused on creating games which closely represented the real thing. More important for startups was how they got there. One of the key developers came up with the internal motto “if it’s in the game, it’s in the game”. This later evolved to be the brand tagline “It’s in the game!”

EA went the extremes to put everything ‘in the game’. Some of these extremes include:

  • Getting the actual TV commentators to do voice overs on the games
  • Licensing teams, sporting organizations brands & players
  • Getting the actual athletes in the studio to get each players exact movements

The result being amazingly realistic games. Amazing games which wouldn’t have been possible without the mantra – a mantra which simply did not accept compromise.

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Mantra is only powerful if we embrace it in every thing we do. EA sports did and went on to be a $4 billion US company with large profit margins.

What is your startup mantra?

steve – founder rentoid.com

Radvertising – Harley Davidson

While driving I saw a billboard advertisment for Harley Davidson. I didn’t get a photo… but we don’t really need one. I can explain it instead.

It had a big picture of a Harley with this copy line underneath it:

331 screws included

Now that is radvertising simply because these three words say so much.

Craftsmanship, Detail, Big, Hand made, Care, Tailored, Complete, Traditional, Customised... I’m sure you can add a few superlatives as well.

It’s a pretty damn good follow up to a recent campaign they ran which I do have the visuals of below.

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harley02

harley03

Steve – founder rentoid.com

Belief – from ‘Tribes’

I took this quote from Seth Godins latest micro book Tribes:

“Do you beleive in what you do? Every day? It turns out that belief happens to be a brilliant strategy”

This resonates with me because it will motivate us to find solutions that ‘non believers’ will be too inept, apathetic or bored to uncover.

Entrepreneurs ought launch something they beleive in conceptually, not just financially.

Love & brands

In order to be in love we need to feel loved. Often we mistake love for other intense emotions such as lust, obsession and even fear.

So if we were to translate this to business parlance it might read like this:

If we want people to love our brand or company, we simply have to make our audience ‘feel loved’.

So then the next questions we should be asking are:

–          Will they love this product?

–          Will they love our value equation?

–          Will they love our guarantee?

–          Will they love our designs?

–          Will love our ‘contact us’ policy or phone staff?

In fact, let’s just start every audience related question with the words ‘Will they love….”

If we do this and focus on being more than good, more than liked and only accept moving towards stuff people will love. Then one day, they may just love our brand.

No comment required

Ok – so this is slightly off topic, but I’ll try and tie it in. Check out the photo I took below at a family shopping mall in Australia.

You’ll notice a couple of things:

Firstly ‘no licence is required’. Good news right?

Secondly it’s branded as the “John Rambo” knife. I’m sure there’s no licensing there either!

The thing that had me flumoxed is that people choose to make money by selling anything just to make a dollar. It still seems people will do whatever it takes to sell stuff, as opposed to selling or creating something which just might have a positive impact on our environment and the people around us.

Sure we need knives for some stuff – I just wonder if we really need knives designed for gutting wild bores advertised in a shop window of a family mall, 200 miles away from the nearest wild animal?

Start ups out there – Sell something cool.

Business relationships & startups

Entrepreneurs must build all types of relationships.

  • Relationships with our suppliers and the value chain
  • Relationships with our buyers & resellers
  • Relationships with our staff and business partners / investors
  • Relationships with our audience & evangelists

In fact, when we are small have little or no revenue, the only thing we can do is have conversations and build relationships. These will lead to action and revenue. While having dinner with a colleague the other night, John Colbert of Corporate Edge training he gave me his view on relationships.

He said:

There are two important factors in relationships – frequency & proximity.

How frequently are we engaging the other person? Where frequency, is any type of conversation, communication or interaction.

And what is our proximity to this person? Where proximity pertains to the physical closeness and real world interactions we have together. Do we meet in person? Are we getting to know each other without the use of technology? Simply meeting in the same location?

The more of the above two things we have the stronger our relationships come. If we for a moment think of who we have strong relationships with, we’ll see we have both Frequency and Proximity.


The reality is humans want to deal with people they like, trust and know. This is what relationships build.

So if one of our important business relationships (those listed above) is flagging, maybe we should have more frequent interactions, get closer or do both.