Edition 17 - The New Prophets of Tech

marketing and pseudo philosophy

Is my business growing? That’s what I’ve been asking myself these last few weeks.

I always imagined it to be more of a mom and pop shop. A handful of clients and me doing most of the work. But when you own a business, there’s more work than client work. There’s taxes, scheduling, invoicing, and of course working on the business itself.

Juggling everything (with help from my wonderful wife Sophie) over the past 1.5 year has been challenging. Client work always comes first, and after I put our son to bed, maybe I do some tweeting from my ‘work’ account. But not everything gets done and I know there’s tons of opportunities out there - but I turn down work because I simply can’t take more on.

So I am exploring the idea of bringing on some help. I’ve had project help before (Sergey) and it was great to have someone run point on client comms and projects so I could focus on other things knowing the rest was in good hands. But I haven’t had help on a consistent basis.

Hiring is incredibly hard. I’ve only done it a few times in my life. So here’s my ask, if you or anyone you know is looking for some part time work – focusing on Ops/Demand and Partnerships – please let me know. I’d love to have a conversation.

It is nerve wracking. But after closing the books on FY18/19 and having a great pipeline going into Q4 19 & 2020, I like to tell myself that I can let 42/Agency expand its wings a little bit. Perhaps I am being overly optimistic.

On with our regularly scheduled programming for this week.

I spent approximately $600 on ads for 42/Agency over the last 5 days. It was a mix of media types (video + static image + search) and a mix of channels (Twitter/Facebook/YouTube/Display/Search).

Most of the ads were for branding/reach and some direct conversions but I did get 2 great proposal requests chasing them to close this month). My most interesting campaign was on Twitter below.

I do wish I was attending BoS2019 in Boston, but more than that, I used the conference # to promote my actual tweet. 3 ‘likes’ dont seem like much but Lola Travel ( Mike Volpe, ex Hubspot CMO is the CEO) was one of those engagements and arguably the type of companies I’d want to do a project/consulting work with.

Part of the reason I need someone on the team is to manage and execute these campaigns. The early results are encouraging with 2 inquiries but I am not able to give it 100% of the my attention they deserve. Right now I just work on them for a few hours after putting our son to sleep. I imagine if someone was able to focus on them, they’ll even get better results

On the growth topic - Krista has a very interesting observation on hiring for a Growth role:

That list of experience/skills sounds like a unicorn? Each of them esp Email Marketing could potentially be its own area someone could own.

Sam (a subscriber) replied ( thanks Sam!) to the last edition about Growth with:

I find "growth marketing" so funny as a term. Cos it's basically just  marketing. Except over the years, marketing has turned into "running  campaign after campaign with no analysis or regard for  the rest of the  funnel."
So the industry had to come up with a new term cos the old one was so polluted. But nothing has fundamentally changed.

Caught this on twitter. I appreciate their marketing but I am not a fan of a mock protest outside a conference (h/t Salesforce who did it back in the day) if I was an employee asked to do that, I’d likely not be too thrilled.

Allison captures it nicely above.

In We news. Look like the IPO is being put on hold. WeWork is a real estate company not a technology one. I am following the IPO so closely because there’s alot of real estate “tech enabled’ companies with high funding/valuation and WeWork’s IPO will likely set the tone for the markets for them. WeWork is special with its lack of controls & funky financials & long term leases though. Kudos to the founder for building a 20B company but is it a real business? For context IWG (Regus) is publicly traded at a market cap of 3.6B.

Recode’s new pod (Land of the Giants) answered a question I’ve had in my mind for awhile. Why are tech folks tweeting about ‘wisdom & philosophy’ (quotes mine) like the timeless tweet by Naval (AngelList) about Chopsticks being superior to forks (or was it a spoon) that got thousands of likes. Why do people follow these tech founders as the new prophets/self hel gurus of our time, with an army of acolytes hanging on to their every single word.

Scott Galloway put it this way. As our society is going through these monumental changes, there’s a lack of spiritual leaders to answer some of the big questions we have about our place in the world and we now fill that void with innovators.

Marketers are guilty of this too - tweeting hollow strategy & platitudes without any context or grounding.

Much appreciate you making your way all the way down. Enjoyed this? Share it on twitter or share it with friends. Questions, found a typo, strong disagreements? Email me or tweet me.

Till next time

- Kamil