Marketing World

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Gore Vidal on 9/11 (2002)

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.

Stating the Bleeding Obvious! (It May Work)

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.

IWOZ: Steve Wozniak Publishes his Long-awaited Autobiography

If, like me you grew up and used Macs at school and college, you may well be interested to know that Steve Wozniak - the guy who "invented the personal computer and co-founded Apple" - will shortly be releasing his autobiography: IWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It. I remember first hearing about this extraordinary, and quite unassuming guy, while reading John Sculley´s autobiography - Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple : A Journey of Adventure, Ideas, and the Future. This is really the man who shaped the way that we use computers today and communicate today - his contribution to the way we work and live today is actually quite immense!

Wired Magazine has an exlcuisve interview with Steve Wozniak - IWoz Logs Leap From Geek to Icon - where he discusses the new book and ponders on why Steve Jobs wouldn´t do the foreword. The interview can also be listened to as a Podcast.

Wired Magazine Offers Tips on How to Get One Over on Your Boss

The recent issue of Wired Magazine offers some great tips on how to keep a snooping boss at bay and how to look busy at work. The second is written by Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, and here are some tips from this section:

Complain that you're totally swamped at every opportunity. Use phrases like "up to my ass in alligators" and "jumping from one fire to another" to make your job sound kind of sexy and dangerous.
Emailing looks like work. Email friends and family often.
If you feel like talking instead of working, talk to your boss. That counts as work no matter what you're chatting about. The ideal topic of conversation is how poorly all of your coworkers are performing.
Be sure to get involved in unquantifiable projects. You want to be doing a lot of consulting and advising and attending. Avoid anything with a hard and fast deadline.

Here are some other good "How to" guides from this issue:

Be More Productive

Secure Your Data

Get Ahead

Work Smarter

Make Work Less Hellish

Focus on Menus not Knobs

In a recent Fortune magazine, entitled The Welshman, the walkman, and the salarymen identifies why the Walkman is so far behind the iPod:

"Menus," Stringer says, "have displaced knobs." That, in a nutshell, is why Apple's iPod, which neatly integrates hardware, music, and an Internet platform, makes the Sony Walkman look like a tired relic of the 1970s.

Rocket science it is not, but how long did it take Sony to work that one out.

Some Reading for Easter

Over the next few days I will be giving the computer a rest but here are some of the articles that I hope to read over this time:

Marketing Sherpa
Exclusive: MarketingSherpa Interview with Web Design God Steve Krug (Audio MP3 + Transcript)
MarketingSherpa's Viral Marketing Hall of Fame 2006: Top 12 Campaigns You Should Swipe Ideas From
Inside Hyundai's Online Advertising Tactics: What Works for Behavioral and Launch Campaigns
How to Conduct an Interactive Survey & Turn the Results into Must-Attend Webcast Content
Seven Inspirational Site Tweaks Used to Raise Online Sales to $1.3 Billion

Marketing Profs
How to Create a Successful Business Blog: 9 Steps to Implementing
How to Create a Successful Business Blog: 8 Planning Tips (Part 1 of 2)
Give Away Your Research—Win Valuable PR and Marketing Prizes
How to Beat the Competition With Your AdWords Campaigns

Fast Company
The Beauty of Simplicity

HBS Working Knowledge
Lessons from the Browser Wars
Does Your Company Belong in the Blogosphere?

Have a Happy Easter!

Apple Turns 30

Mac_os_x_10 Apple will be 30 on April 1st and Wired magazine has a special series of articles to celebrate the event. One that caught my attention was the series of screenshots showing how the operating system has developed over the decades.

Happy St David’s Day!


Happy St David's Day to you all!

You’re Fired! – The Apprentice Returns


Tonight sees the return of the successful BBC series The Apprentice (first aired in the States I believe). 14 hopefuls will compete against each other for a six-figure salary working with Sir Alan Sugar. The last series was quite enjoyable and I'm sure that this one will be equally the same. If you don't know what the series is about, here's a brief synopsis:

Fourteen hopefuls, two eagle-eyed advisors and one self-made millionaire. Yes it’s the show that pits Britain’s hungriest business brains against each other to see which one is worthy of a six-figure salary and the chance to become Sir Alan Sugar’s apprentice.

Over twelve weeks the candidates will take part in the toughest recruitment-drive on television. Sharing a luxury townhouse on London’s "millionaire’s row", they will be split into two teams and given a weekly task with which to expose their entrepreneurial nous.

The BBC has a mini site dedicated to the series where you can view previous episodes, get clips from both this and the last series, biographies of the hopefuls and the latest news.

So, which of the 14 will be the first to hear the words: You're Fired