Shel Israel, over at Naked Conversations, writes about how last week he spotted David Cameron and his entourage in Edinburgh. Never one to miss a photo opprtunity, he stooped down to speak to a homeless man and:
he squatted to shake hands and chat with a street indigent as the
tanned Cameron's web-camera rolled. The candidate then left the street
guy without dropping so much as a pence in his direction.
What my camera did not catch was the ensuing sequence. As Cameron
strolled away, he scowled, then wiped his shaking hand on the seat of
his well-pressed pants.
I am currently writing this post whilst trying to get through to Northern Rock. Apparently the reason I have been on the phone for 20 MINUTES is not due to:
- the fact that they won't employ more people to man (woman!) the phone lines or
- because their processes are not up to it or
- because they enjoy pissing people off!
No, the reason they have problems answering the phone is due to their marketing team's efforts:
Thank you your patience. We are experiencing a high volume of calls due to our excellent, typical APR of 5.9%
Silly me! I should have known.
Today, I here that the US government is looking to ban this online:
but you can still go and buy one of these online:
Gun violence in America (Guardian)
If you're looking for a steer on what going on in the Internet, take a look at Fortune magazine. In their last two issues they have conducted interviews with the people behind two of the Internet's major players of the moment.
The first issue gives the 'the inside story of disorder, disarray, and uncertainty at Google.' and features an interview with Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google.
The second issue features the MySpace Cowboys, which is called the fastest growing website in the world.
As mentioned in a previous article, I have been re-reading a book called Soloing by Harriet Rubin and this has led me to read up a little on Peter Drucker, who she actually interviewed whilst 'Soloing'. One of the questions that she poses to him is how he keeps ahead of all the developments he needs to know. Here is part of his answer, from Peter's Principles:
"Knowledge by definition makes itself obsolete," says Drucker. "Skills last forever.
"My family name, Drucker, means printer," he says.
"For centuries, my family never needed to learn anything new. And when archaeologists began to dig out the ruins of Emporia--the greatest trading city of the Mediterranean in Hellenistic times--sometime around 1950, they found the tools the craftsmen used. Except for the screwdriver, which is of medieval invention, there is no tool unearthed from Emporia that is any different from those craftsmen use today. Any shoemaker or cabinetmaker would be just as at home in ancient Emporia as in Berkeley today. A craftsman learned as a child all that he would need for the rest of his or her working life."
But in our knowledge economy, says Drucker, "if you haven't learned how to learn, you'll have a hard time. Knowing how to learn is partly curiosity. But it's also a discipline."
"You don't know anything unless you teach it" has been Drucker's mantra for learning to learn. He's taught American history, Japanese art, religion, and statistics. To teach what you don't yet know helps you learn more than just a new set of facts; you practice the discipline of learning to learn, since new subjects require learning new concepts.
I deliver eMarketing courses at least once a month and can actually relate to exactly what he says. I would also add that to really understand your subject area (in my case eMarketing), you need to be able to apply and put into practice what you have learnt/taught. How could I possibly deliver a course if I haven't gone through the pains and succeeded on client eMarketing campaigns?
I have just started re-reading Harriet Ruben's excellent book, Soloing, where she describes her journey from corporate life to 'soloist'. According to the Amazon review: "The life of a "soloist," as she came to describe this new professional direction, turned out to be both challenging and exhilarating--and one, Rubin immediately realized, that she would never trade for a return to big business."
Towards the start of the book she offers readers a very interesting 'joke':
There was a fisherman working alone in a beautiful, seaside village. He went out every morning in the forever-blue waters and caught one spectacular fish each day. A marketing whiz happened to be vacationing in the village and said to the fisherman, 'Why catch only one fish? If you're out there anyway, why not catch a hundred, sell ninety, and make a big profit?'
"'I love my life the way it is', the fisherman said. 'Why would I want to do more?
"'Because then you could get rich, start a fishery, move to a place like Silicon Valley and bring in sophisticated, technological systems to market all the fish. I'll be your partner and after a year or two or five of endless hours and almost never seeing the sun shine, we can take the fishery public and make millions'
"And what would I do with the millions?', asked the fisherman.
"'You want millions' explained the whiz kid, 'so you can take your millions, buy a place in a little fishing village like this, and spend whole days doing nothing but catching one perfect fish'"
I actually know a couple of people who couldn't understand why the fisherman wouldn't see the argument of the whiz kid's argument!
I'm looking forward to watching this and just hope it has the massive impact that is required to make some governments sit up and change course!
Just revisted an interesting article by Gore Vidal that I read 4 years ago - called The Enemy Within and written in The Indepedent newspaper. For the most part I would say that he's bang on the button. Here's one interesting quote from it:
We have only outdone the Romans in turning metaphors such as
the war on terrorism, or poverty, or Aids into actual
wars on targets we appear, often, to pick at random in
order to maintain turbulence in foreign lands.
Returning from holidays in Madrid last weekend I bought some orange juice at a service station and the message on the bottle got me thinking. If I'm correct it was Robinson's fresh orange juice and the strapline on the front of the bottle went something like this:
"Squeezed Daily in the UK"
Well, why wouldn't it be? Much of the orange juice we drink in the UK is flown in from overseas (as far as I know there are no orange plantations in the country) and we usually add water to the concentrate to make it into juice.
I am sure that every company involved in the making of fruit juice must squeeze oranges every day - otherwise there would be a production problem and the shops wouldn't have fresh orange juice. However, in this case, stating the obvious on the product packaging makes the product offering a far more attractive proposition.