The waiting game – Eye on Australia

Grey Advertising just conducted it’s Eye on Australia sentiment study for the 21st year. The study focuses on how Australians are feeling socially and economically with view points on various industries and demographic groups. This year the results have been complied in a cool animated info graphic below.

A great snapshot for marketers and entrepreneurs alike. Enjoy!


Obey your hunch – Leo Burnett

I happened upon a great quote today from revered Ad Man Leo Burnett which is probably more appropriate for entrepreneurs than advertisers:

“Steep yourself in your subject, work like hell, and above all, love honor and obey your hunches.”

Hunches matter. In startup land we are not in the business of research or satisfying a majority. Rather, we are in the business of sensing a shift and inspiring a minority.


Why junk mail matters

Junk mail is not named correctly. It should be called Research Mail, Zeitgeist Mail or something much more complementary.

Here’s a list of great things it does:

  • It tells us what people think they can sell
  • It tells us the price of things, probably our competitors
  • It tells us who can afford to advertise
  • It tells us the economic conditions of the day via the discounts made
  • It display the advances in technology
  • It tells us what’s hot
  • It keeps us in touch with the business environment more than the Wall Street Journal does

It’s an entrepreneurs best friend. Startup blog says read your junk mail.


How to decide

A colleague sent me this quote that I just had to share right here on startup blog. Henri Federic Albert said:

“The man who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.”

And that is what we must learn to deal with in growth businesses – uncertainty. Our ability to decide based on a intuition and our personal world view is becoming a rare asset. It’s what we must move towards in a world full of data, but very little meaning. The other benefit decisions give us is real world feedback. If we get it wrong we can cross it off the list and move onto the next idea.


Startups and Standups

Listening to an interview with Jerry Seinfeld he said something which sounded like good advice for Startup Entrepreneurs.

Here is what he said verbatim:

“Your write and you write, and you don’t know if it is any good. You have to get up in front of an audience to find out if this is any good. You always have to try things, and the audience kind of writes the act for you in a way. They say, keep this, get rid of that. And you use them as a judge. They are the judge.”

It seems success in most enterprising professions are about being guided by your audience or customers. Testing, refining and constantly iterating.

Startup blog says: Real market feedback, is the only way to test any written plan. It beats research every time.


Brand definition

I’m sick of hearing crap definitions of what a brand is. Especially when they use words like marketplace and sellers, which can often be irrelevant. So here is the Steve Sammartino version:

Brand: A cognitive shortcut from which to make informed decisions.

That’s it. No need to mention selling. Brands don’t have to be sold. No need to mention a market place. Brands don’t just exist in markets – they exist in the total human experience. No need to mention logos, designs, names or symbols – these are part of the cognitive shortcuts. (which could even be a set of directions aboriginal used to locate a reliable waterhole, for which they probably had a name, in far reaching Australia over 1000 years ago). No need to mention products or services – brands can be concepts or ideas (Climate Change). No need to mention differentiation, loyalty or competitive preference – this is part of the informed decisions.

Our job as entrepreneurs is to build something which has meaning, and ultimately become the cognitive shortcut in the space we play in.

Feel free to discuss, agree or throw stones.


Startup Survival

In nature, with every second something lives for, it’s probability of continued life increases exponentially.

The lessons for startups is simple, do the stuff that keeps you alive longest. And the most important thing we can do for our startup is keep our costs low. Low cost operations gives us the advantage of time. And time is the most important asset when it comes to working out our business model. Not capital, not technology, not employees, not research. Just time.