I was asked to explain what I mean when I say, as I often do, "We are not in the business of demand creation." I usually go on to say, "We leave that job up to the big agencies" who seem on occasion to quite successfully create demand for products regardless of their actual quality.
In my experience, making good use of serendipity is a combination of things: actively setting up opportunities, a willingness to go with the flow of events, the ability to see the thing that arises by chance, and finally, being prepared to seize the opportunity—prepared both in the sense of being open to the possibility and ready to take advantage of it.
How do you get new clients? If you sell B2B, the short answer is probably “relationships.” Almost.
We all now take advantage of open source software. For our work in web development, it helps make many formerly complex and expensive tasks faster, easier, and less expensive. We tend to take this for granted, but the meaning of the open source systems that have germinated and are now prospering on the web is still evolving. We do not know how far these systems can take us. What are their limits? What can be done with them once harnessed in new ways for good?
An article on June 15th in the Wall Street Journal by Nathan Koppel noted that “Law firms, particularly those that represent plaintiffs, are increasingly devoting resources to developing a presence online, where consumers—and potential clients—congregate.” The article mentions Sokolove Law, a Massachusetts-based firm that's spending $12 million annually on digital outreach (up from 1/4th of that in 2006). OK, this really isn't chump change.
The Media Development Loan Fund, or MDLF, is a pioneering international nonprofit organization formed in 1995 by Sasa Vucinic and the late Stuart Auerbach with seed money from George Soros' Open Society Institute. The idea behind MDLF was to create a loan fund for the free press in fledgling democracies. Now celebrating 15 years and nearly 100 million dollars in loans, 200 projects in 24 countries around the globe, MDLF wanted to create a book to commemorate its achievements.
Much has been written and commented about the ongoing BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. This story most certainly has a brand lesson. I wonder if the big companies and the agencies that market them are paying attention?
Arakawa Shusaku — July 6, 1936 - May 18, 2010.
It was 1991, and I was fresh from Japan, adrift in New York, and uncertain of my destiny. It was Madeline and Arakawa who found me (especially Madeline). They took me in, fed and nourished me with scraps of wisdom—and curry—from the kingdom of intellectual freedom in which they habitually dwelt.
They surrounded themselves with young minds. They fed us daily from a seemingly endless supply of insight and compassion ... and stories. They respected our thoughts and gave them room to grow.