Canaries and Motorbikes

Sailors rely on being able to “see” the wind. They’ll watch the ripples on the surface of the ocean, the colours of the waves, and the foam on the crests – and it allows them to see the invisible gusts before they have approached. In business or investment, we call these types of signals “leading indicators”. They’re signals that show …

Disruption, Dating and Product Development

I have a friend who came out of a long-term relationship a few months ago. He’s attractive, dresses well, and has a great career in a stable and well-respected industry. He owns his own home, is kind, articulate, stable, caring, funny, and has strong values. He’s the kind of guy who you KNOW will do well as soon as he’s …

Marketing by Luck and Talent

Maybe our success is more about luck than talent. One of the core philosophies of the western world is meritocracy – that good outcomes are earned from good inputs. The theory says if you’re successful at something, it’s largely because of your talent, intelligence, skill, efforts, risk-taking, tenacity, resilience, or some other reason within your control or influence. It’s one …

Cat Food Opportunity

In 1999, Sacramento man David Phillips earned 1,253,000 frequent flyer miles by $3,125 worth of pudding cups. For a travel nerd like Phillips, this was the deal of a lifetime. The total value of frequent flyer miles he banked was $50,000 – enough for 50 roundtrip flights anywhere within the United States, 21 return trips between Australia and the USA, …

What I’m seeing in marketing, post-COVID

You might assume that EVERY organisation is affected by COVID-19, and the related shutdowns. This is largely true. But not all organisations have been affected equally. Because I get to see a lot of client’s marketing campaigns, I get to keep a finger on the pulse and monitor what’s working and what isn’t. Here’s what I’m seeing right now… Uneven …

The One About Tinder

I reckon people who have been in long term relationships since before the age of online dating have missed out on an incredible marketing lesson. It’s the lesson about Tinder. Here’s how it works… PROFILE – You set up your profile, and try to make yourself as attractive as possible to the right sort of person. ACTIVITY – You then …

Chain of Indicators

Have you ever seen a Rube Goldberg machine? The marble rolls down the slope, and knocks down the dominos, which pushes the trolley, which lights the candle, which burns the string, which releases the pulley, which swings the hammer, which hits the bowling ball, which starts the stove, which fries the egg, which… You get the idea! In the same …

The Flight To Quality

In investment, there’s a term that I love: the Flight to Quality. When there’s an economic shock, it causes investors to rethink their values, and the types of investments they choose to invest their money in. Instead of putting their money into higher risk, potentially higher-waste investments – they move to more stable, higher quality opportunities. In many respects, it …

Leading Remote Teams

When COVID-19 hit, I felt really guilty. People would ask how I’m doing, and I’d reply: “I’m fine. I kinda feel like people have met me on my terms: Introvert, putting service over selling, marketing in a predominantly online world, and working digitally with remote teams. It’s like I’ve been training for this my whole life!” The past few weeks, …