It’s possible to make anything sound reasonable.

When you consider any outrageous point of view, there is always a way of stating at least one element of the message and making it sound reasonable, and then slowly add other elements to the message so that each sound reasonable in the context of the previous point. In this way you can lead people down a path that allows them to agree with even the most ridiculous position.

Of course doing this means you must keep your target person focused on just your point of view, and not let them think freely. Because the moment they think for themselves the whole craziness of the argument becomes apparent.

If you can get enough people to follow you down this journey the overall power of mob-think can take over and can ensure that the crazy idea you are proposing becomes self-perpetuating. The pressure from others stops each person thinking for themselves.

The power of this is immense.

It’s the basis of religion, sexism, racism, communism, political parties, sport, armies and pretty much everything that society has built.

Is it always bad? NO.

Can it be used for bad? absolutely!

And there is a simple remedy. THINK FOR YOURSELF. If the idea being proposed has merit, it’s okay to do it. But if the idea is clearly stupid, walk away from it, even if people you think are nice and following it.

Don’t let the stupidity of others perpetuated by a group become an idea you believe in, just because others tell you to, think for yourself.

Please feel free to think about this idea for yourself, and if you think I’m being stupid, then ignore me. It’s your choice.

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Presiding while Black

I try not to live my life through the lens of politics, but I have to say I’m quite unimpressed with the US governments’ ability to replicate the last years of the Roman Empire.

I mean talk about fiddling while Rome burns! The ability for politicians to take actions that hurt real people, just to score political points is incredible.

I measure the effectiveness of any governing body by the results it achieves. If nothing breaks, minimal people die, employment goes up and the cost of living goes down I’m generally happy.

And by the cost of living I’m talking holistically. I don’t care if it’s federal taxes, state taxes, local taxes, sales taxes, VAT, inflation, healthcare costs, airport fees, booking fees of Broadway show tickets, a tax on plastic bags or the price of fuel. If at the end of the day what you can spend and save goes down something is broken and I want to know what and why.

Any politician that fails to stop a war or starts a war, clearly has failed. I don’t care who started it, the most powerful politicians are the ones who fix it without sending teenagers with guns anywhere. Sending heroes into harm’s way is a last resort, and the politician who was not good enough to stop it has proved their ineffectiveness.

And when a politician has failed and people are pointing guns at each other, the only way the politician can redeem themselves at all, is to ensure that the fighting is swift, decisive and with minimal casualties. Generals know how to do this, and they do it best when the politicians back off. Police actions, spending time standing around at check points and patrolling streets are political points, and they lead to real people paying the price.

But here’s the thing, I really don’t care if a leader has a dick or a vagina, or both or neither. I don’t care what color his or her skin is, and I don’t care what political party they favor or what deity they pretend to gesticulate towards. I really do hate people who do care about these things.

The affordable healthcare act, seemed like a good idea. The ACA was broken before it was launched, but even in its broken state it is better than what was in place before. I think most people expected government to do what governments have always done, and make it better. But instead it was used as a tool to break government even further.

The US has millions of immigrants from countries to the south. They have always been a great source of cheap labor who could be treated badly and due to their lack of legal status had only two choices, take it or fuck off. Rather than fix the situation again government has used it as a tool to break things even further.

In every possible way, from replacing dead judges to fixing crumbling bridges government have used the situation as a tool to make things worse.
Some would like to blame this on just one political party, but that is weak and pointless. Don’t believe me? Well, just note how many democrats refused to acknowledge that they voted for the black man, twice.

I would suggest that the republicans and democrats are equally to blame for the mess we are in. Republicans for blind loyalty, and the democrats for being too weak and cowardly to stand up and be counted.

The president does seen to have more melanin under his skin than most elected federal politicians. And it does seem that a lot of people hate him for it. Like all political leaders he has done a mix of good and bad. It’s just a shame that so many people are so tuned to be racist assholes, that they are happy to promote the bad as a way of making things worse, while stopping the good to … making things worse.

The phrase “cutting off your nose to spite your face” seems to be the new American normal.

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“Waffer” thin marketing

It’s far too easy for marketing people to be disingenuous.

Why does a company market?

Well there are three key reasons:
• one- to generate demand for their products,
• two – to create awareness for their products as “air-cover” for their sales efforts and demand-generation efforts
• and three – to create brand equity otherwise known as good-will on the balance sheet.

These three goals are critical success factors for any company, but without a clear understanding of what they mean it’s far too easy for a marketing team (and the management team that pays marketing) to get wrapped up in the measure and loose site of the goal.

Demand generation is the term we all give to the process of bringing prospective customers to our sales organization. The idea is that marketing does “stuff” that carefully qualifies contacts and delivers them for sales to engage in meaningful dialogues that lead to closed deals. The challenge can be that marketing don’t always expend enough effort to qualify-out weak contacts and basically blast every business card they can find at sales to achieve their volume targets. Of course this means that sales are bombarded with thousands of names and phone numbers and can either choose to dial for dollars or ignore the output of marketing, and instead use their own networks to build their pipeline.

If the measure on marketing is to generate a huge number of “leads” where a lead is defined as the information on a business card, then marketing can absolutely do this. Marketing will achieve their goals but the business needle will not move.

Instead marketing should have the goal of generating leads that convert to qualified business. If a lead is not ‘converted’ by sales into an opportunity with a close date, expected value and a documented value proposition based on input directly from the prospect, it isn’t worth anything to sales. When you measure marketing on this type of quality lead creation things get real, really quickly.

Sales and marketing working together with marketing owning the market-to-qualified lead process and sales owning the qualified-lead-to-close process works very well. But if marketing own the mr-creosote model of demand generation where everything that goes into the bucket comes directly out again then marketing and sales are not aligned and no value is created.

A great example of a technique used to create Mr-Creosote marketing is the embedded pop-up ad. These annoying zones on web pages pop-up when you mouse over them or close by them, and they have a barely visible X that if you click on makes them close again. Many people fail to find the X and so click on the wrong area on the pop-up and cause it to spawn a web page. The Mr-Creosote Marketer logs this as a click-through. Showing incredible results from a marketing investment, because their measure was click through rate.

Of course these click-through’ s are not real, and this can be seen by checking the bounce rate. A bounce is where the prospect once going to a page, closes it straight away without delving any further. If your marketing department is getting massive levels of CTR (click through rate), ask to see the bounce rate. If the bounce rate is in the high 90 percentages, do the right thing and rip your mr-creosote marketer a new one.

mr creosote

Awareness marketing and brand-equity marketing, just like demand gen marketing need to be scrutinized to make sure what you are asking for in terms of goals are aligned with your measures. It’s too easy to achieve results that are not aligned to the business needs.

Marketing is a core fundamental requirement for a business, and it must be treated as such. Making sure that the person that leads marketing is part of the executive management function and that their goals are aligned with the business is the sure-fire way to make this happen.

If you bury marketing as a sub-element of sales or promote a long time junior person to run marketing, who does not have the experience of being a partner in the business, expect to see Mr Creosote sitting at your table.

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