This is, hands down, one of the best ads ever.
No high paid spokespeople.
No product shots.
Low cost (a few thousand dollars to license some stock footage).
A simple voice over.
One clear message.
Parents, if you can’t understand how your kid can jump from Facebook to instant messaging to texting, all while doing their homework, watch this.
Parents with young children, watch this.
Kids (anyone under 35), if your parents don’t seem to get you, the digital you, watch this with them. Help explain it to them.
Educators, watch this. Think about how you can use this knowledge in the classroom.
Everyone else, watch this anyway. We can all learn a lot from Don Tapscott.
Today, Seth Godin lists 45 things you can do to change if you feel stuck in a rut…
What a wonderful start.
Here are 45 more:
46. Learn a completely new sport. Or a completely new way to do an existing sport.
47. Invite your customers tour your facility.
48. Cook lunch or dessert for your team. Something new. Take turns.
49. Learn about and improve your web analytics.
50. Take your web lead to lunch and ask her what she thinks.
51. Take the janitor to dinner and ask him what he thinks.
52. Take your mother to dinner and ask what she thinks.
53. Ask 100 people on the street what they think. Write it down.
54. Determine which (if any) of your ads actually work. Kill the rest.
55. Send your best customers a valuable free gift.
56. Improve your word of mouth.
57. Ask everyone on your team to submit a suggestion that can be acted on within a week. Together, the team votes for the best suggestion and it is executed. Repeat once a month.
58. Rank your products or projects from most remarkable to least. Think of five new ones for the top. Kill the bottom half and allocate those resources to the new five.
59. Implement a productivity system.
60. Organize an office (or company wide) wellness day or 5K run.
61. Start an office book-share program.
62. Transform an entire room into a whiteboard with IdeaPaint. This is now the IdeaRoom. Do the same in your kid’s room(s). Encourage them to write on the walls.
63. Identify and publicly reward a customer of the month.
64. Hold a quick meeting to implement the “Cult of Done” manifesto. Print the poster and post it around the office. Reward examples of Done daily.
65. Instead of an traditional NCAA office pool, everyone donates an hour of a service they can provide (like tennis lessons). Instead of cash, the winner gets first choice. Last place gets last choice but everybody wins.
66. Raise money to sponsor an entrepreneur through Kiva.
67. Post an interesting (and potentially viral) video to describe your product or service.
68. Finish that book you started.
69. Read a book from a new genre
70. Rewrite the company’s mission statement in 140 characters or less.
71. Rank you and your competition using social media metrics. Aim for the top spot. It may be empty.
72. Define your corporate culture. Compare it to Zappos.
73. Take your competitor to lunch. Literally.
74. Take a long, scenic drive and relax with some great music.
75. Try yoga.
76. Call that friend that you’ve been meaning to get back in touch with.
77. Help your customers improve. For free.
78. Take your kids out of school and skip work. Take them to a ballgame or a play.
79. Simplify your personal finances.
80. Help your customers tell your story.
81. Publish an ebook. Or at least a manifesto.
82. Coach a youth sports team that doesn’t involve your own kid.
83. Start a book club.
84. Learn photography.
85. Be more Zen.
86. Volunteer at a nursing home. Or just go there and meet someone. Talk to them. You’ll learn more than they will.
87. Eat no processed foods for one week.
88. Improve your SEO. Organically.
89. Hack your life.
90. Write down your list of resolutions. Tape them to the bathroom mirror or somewhere you’ll see them everyday.
Testing used to be expensive. If your product was a failure, you ended up with a warehouse of unused, unwanted widgets and a sizable capital loss.
In 1987, if you had a brainchild to sell a set of ten hilarious new T-shirts, you had to produce a large enough run to pay for the screens. If you were wrong, your friends and family were flush with unsold shirts and your wallet was empty. Now, companies like CafePress allow you to start selling with no inventory and zero money down (and no risk of a sub-prime T-shirt crisis).
If nobody likes your T-shirt, change it and try again.
In 1988, if you wanted to start a magazine, you needed at least $10,000 and connections in the magazine publishing industry. Today, with sites like OpenZine, you can have your first issue live in less than an hour. For free.
If you don’t get any readers, change it and try again.
Get started. Get done. Measure results. Fail fast. Fail often.
The cost of changing the screen is almost zero.
Last month, I went with my friend to visit a man who is in the hospital with multiple sclerosis. We talked with him for a while, we helped him setup speed-dial for his family in his hospital phone and we helped him setup a new GMail account because he had forgotten the password to his Hotmail account.
He was so happy and grateful to have visitors, even for an hour. Mentally, he was still very sharp but the MS had debilitated his body and his speech. I sat there wondering what things he wanted to accomplish that he never got the chance to.
As we walked out of the hospital, I couldn’t help but feel guilty. Guilty that I could walk out of the hospital. The guilt quickly turned to a sense of obligation to do something great because there are so many people that don’t have the chance.
What we all have isn’t just a chance. We all have a responsibility to do something great. We all need to change the world in our own ways. We’re all blessed with enough intelligence and drive. Plenty of people are willing to teach us the skills and techniques. We have no excuse not to succeed.
What we all have is not an opportunity. It’s an obligation.
The leaves on a tree have it down pat. They wait until the weather turns cold, then they turn beautiful colors, fall off and wait until spring. Same routine, year after year.
Unfortunately, you’re not a tree. You can’t wait to create change once it’s needed. You have to proactively and constantly change. It is difficult, because you can’t sell change when you’re doing well, but you can’t afford change when you’re doing poorly.
If not, maybe you should be.
To achieve anything beyond what you already have, you need to leap out of your comfort zone. You may be familiar with the old saying, “If you keep doing what you’ve always done then you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.”
Look at what is keeping you in your comfort zone. Ask yourself two questions:
a) What is the worst that can happen?
b) What is the best that can happen?
‘b’ is almost always greater than ‘a’. The pain of ‘a’ is temporary. The benefits of ‘b’ are forever.
Unless you’re completely, 100% satisfied with your life, take a leap. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised at the result.
Drips of not-so-common sense, delivered daily. Topics will include marketing, leadership, tribes, scarcity and change.