Edition 25: Everyday I am Hustling

Party Rock Anthem.

Can you change the world working 40 hours a week? that’s what twitter was blowing up about over the holidays (of all time).

Here’s the thing - Jason (basecamp) started the conversation (i think) and everyone from MLK to Ghandi were brought up (see below)

Tobi (Shopify) who has recently become more vocal on twitter (did he hire a new PR person) chimed in as well. It was a … something to watch from afar. Generally, I don’t jump into these things. 1) it’s counterproductive 2) twitter is very black & white and the naunce doesn’t come through, especially when the twitter mob is outraged on both sides on the debate.

Here’s the tweet from Jason

Now step back for a second. Take into account Jason is the founder (co-founder?) of basecamp - a PM tool that is trying to be the opposite of Slack & the high velocity always-on, a work culture that’s been developed in the last decade of instant gratification. We want our amazon deliveries the next day & we also want an answer from our co-worker the next min. Jason & the whole basecamp 'marketing strategy’ is based on the premise of It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work. In the world of Slack & always-on expectations, basecamp is building an audience & mindshare around their company/product & thinking by preaching the opposite (yes that’s marketing). It doesn’t just extend to rhetoric, the’’ve based product/design decisions around that philosophy too. My entire point? Good marketing is when companies have strong opinions on topics that are important to the conversation happening & it relates to the product they are building. I am still debating on how to properly word it. But the corollary is - if you don’t have strong opinions & original thoughts, you risk drowning in the sea of sameness. Think about those articles that teach you SEO & just tell you to re-write the same damn article that’s ranking #1 but make it longer or something. That’s bad marketing & that just leads to you sounding like everyone else.

Related Basecamp note - the founders are super vocal & visible and marketing savvy, I am curious how the new director of marketing role is playing out. I really enjoyed his interview on their podcast - super-smart humble guy.

Here is a debatable/bad take.

MongoDB has 52 marketing 130 sales and a previous CMO Meagen Eisenberg put MonogoDB on the map in alot of ways. The above post sort of implies that it all happened on its own - without any help and also (IMO) takes credit away from the folks who built up the marketing engine. OpenView is a VC firm that’s heavily invested in the Product Led Growth term & popularizing it. I am all for smart marketing & hammering the message home but they shouldn’t imply it just ‘happened’. Like all companies trying to ride the ‘next wave’ the above take by Blake is trying to convolute MongoDB’s success to serve their own marketing. More about PLG another time - but if you are curious go ahead and read this book by Wes Bush.

I’ve never quite understood analysts relations & honestly I thought it was all pay for play. I am taking about Gartner/Forrester & their reports. Here’s a great breakdown of Analyst relations by Tom Wentworth.

Related I think the big Analyst firms are slowly being disrupted by the democratized review platforms like G2 but they still don’t hold the ‘prestige’ as the big analyst firms yet:

Here’s a question: should writing/content be free? I dont believe it should be but I also think knowledge should be widely shared - but for years I played around with the idea of micro-payments & use Blendle, sub to the Information / NYT & even played around with the idea of putting this newsletter behind a $5/mo subscription just to see what happens. Another option is to ‘release’ a paid Facebook Ads course via Substack that I’ve had in Google Drafts for 2 years. I started writing it as a series of emails but then lost steam and left it. If you want to give it a read & give me your thoughts - here you go.

I’ll say this though - I am glad marketers haven’t discovered Substack. The primary audience for Substack is still VC/journalists & it’s the quality bar is has been extremely high.

Here is a masterclass in marketing. I debated sending this to my entire family (they’re computer scientists, physicists & doctors & my mom is a full-time grandma now) in the hope they’ll finally understand what I do for a living:

Amen: ABM is more than banner ads - it’s about a coordinated sales & marketing - hell, even more, leaning towards sales:

B2B is far behind when it comes to paid media & ecomm folks are probably on the cutting edge. Lots of B2B folks still create campaigns with link click objectives - but once you get the basics sorted there’s no magic sauce except maybe creative. Here’s a great thread on creative for paid social:

Some interesting articles:

Retail from MorningBrew (not a subscriber)

Why branded magazine are possibly coming back.

Slack should get acquired.

The New Payday Lender Looks a Lot Like the Old Payday Lender

Happy 2020!

The soundtrack for today - Imagine Dragons.



p.s please share your thoughts/comments & feedback. It helps me keep going :)