What is Your Core Competency 'Currency'?

What is Your Core Competency ‘Currency’?

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I was talking recently with John Martellaro on ‘The Background Mode’ podcast - and while we were discussing the massive business that Apple enjoyed with Xserve and Xserve RAID John basically asked: ‘Why would Apple kill it (a $400M est. business)?’

And the answer is - ‘Apple didn’t want to spend the ‘currency’ on it.’

Apple’s Most Valuable Currency

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For Apple - the most valuable ‘currency’ was, and still is, an extremely valuable commodity indeed - engineers good enough to walk through the doors at One Infinite Loop, those worthy of being called ‘A-player’ engineers that can help build Apple products...

Gold flakes
Knowing what your core competency currency is - and how best to spend it - can change your business forever

Connecting (to Your Customers) with Passion

Connecting (To Your Customers) with Passion

Avoiding the ‘Stock Characters’ of Technology Demos and Pitches

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How many times have you agreed to a meeting to learn more about a company, technology or product, or stopped at a technology trade show to see a demo? Hundreds? Thousands?

There’s always a moment after the meeting or demo has kicked off - there’s a natural pause, the momentum shifts and now its over to the ‘explainer’ to launch into presentation, pitch, or demo….

…and you immediately categorize them into one of a few ‘stock’ categories of ‘bad demo behavior’, if you stick around at all.

See if you recognize these ‘stock characters...

Mr roboto
Mr. Roboto - the same pitch every time to every customer - is this one of your company's stock characters?

Got My Mind on My Message - and My Message on My Mind

Got My Mind on My Message - And My Message on My Mind

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As a former Apple Technology Evangelist I’d often get the sweet gig of helping showcase Apple products at WWDC, MacWorld, or NAB. (Remember how great Apple booths were at MacWorld and NAB?)

Without fail - I’d be demonstrating Apple’s killer product of the day to someone from the press, developers, high profile customers, they’d love it, and then I’d get the question - ‘so is Apple going to do ? Or, what does Steve think?’

This moment - when someone wants to veer off into other topics that are not about your ‘news of the day’ - is a minefield of bad, unproductive choices. On the one...

Sharp edges
Don't bury your message - everyone in your team needs to know what it is and help DRIVE IT

Meat or Bread? Can Your Customers Tell What You 'Do?'

Are You Meat? Or Bread? (Can Your Customers tell What you DO?)

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A roommate once pulled a tin of something from the depths of our shared fridge, fogged over in a carpet of blue-green mold and asked - ‘Is this meat? Or bread?’

(Hey we were young professionals, and were rarely home at the same time.)

But it comes to mind every time I pull up a website or look at a company’s collateral - is it meat? Or is it bread? What the heck IS it?

Too often, marketeers try to pack EVERYTHING a company does, or a product is, in a single website or piece of collateral. Or tries to describe it to catch every possible application or customer need. Trying...

Is it bread? Meat? Or meatbread? If you can't tell - you won't want to eat it

The Power of Iteration and Flow

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To paraphrase several instructors I’ve had over the years ‘its better to have a good plan NOW than a perfect plan TOO LATE.’

As sound as this advice is for military leaders - its also true for content creators and designers. Content delivered quickly that is short, timely and relevant is far better than overlong, overlarded content that gets ignored.

You’ll find that the secret to deliver great content quickly relies on harnessing inspiration, working with flow, and ultimately, iterating quickly on your work until its ‘great.’

Here’s what I mean.


The first step of course is to find and encourage...

From tiny, cat-size creature to modern 1200 pound racehorse - the power of iteration in action
Product Marketing, Branding and Strategy, Code and Content