The math has changed.
It used to be, you paid money to run an ad. A little piece of media, bought and paid for. The audience came with the slot.
Today, of course, the ad is free to run. Post your post, upload your video. Free.
What to measure, then?
Well, one thing to measure is attention. How many likes or shares or views did it get?
But if you're going to optimize for attention, not trust or results or contribution, then you're on a very dangerous road.
It's pretty easy to get attention by running down the street naked (until everyone else does it). But that's not going to accomplish your goals.
When Oreo gets attention for a tweet or Halotop for a horrible ad, they're pulling a stunt, not contributing to their mission.
Yes, the alternative is more difficult. It doesn't come with a quick hit or big numbers. But it understands what it's for. An effective ad is far more valuable than a much-noticed one.
Critics are eager to pick apart complex decisions made by others.
Prime Ministers, CEOs, even football coaches are apparently serially incompetent. If they had only listened to folks who knew precisely what they should have done, they would have been far better off.
Of course, these critics have a great deal of trouble making less-complex decisions in their own lives. They carry the wrong credit cards, buy the wrong stocks, invest in the wrong piece of real estate.
Some of them even have trouble deciding what to eat for dinner.
Complex decision making is a skill—it can be learned, and some people are significantly better at it than others. It involves instinct, without a doubt, but also the ability to gather information that seems irrelevant, to ignore information that seems urgent, to patiently consider not just the short term but the long term implications.
The loudest critics have poor track records in every one of these areas.
Mostly, making good decisions involves beginning with a commitment to make a decision. That's the hard part. Choosing the best possible path is only possible after you've established that you've got the guts and the commitment to make a decision.
If you have a safe place to sleep, reasonable health and food in the fridge, you're probably living with surplus. You have enough breathing room to devote an hour to watching TV, or having an argument you don't need to have, or simply messing around online. You have time and leverage and technology and trust.
For many people, this surplus is bigger than any human on Earth could have imagined just a hundred years ago.
What will you spend it on?
If you're not drowning, you're a lifeguard.
Announcing a two-day workshop in my office for 8 people.
I define publishing as the work of investing in intellectual property and monetizing it by bringing it to people who want to pay for it. The world of publishing is changing fast, and I'd like to help a few publishers make a difference.
Publishing can include music, books, conferences and other experiences and content. The ideas may change, but the work of publishing at scale has much in common across all fields.
[Update: We've had more than 1,000 applications, so I'm going to close the form, thanks.]
Here's a quick FAQ:
Who's it for? Thoughtful leaders who are committed to publishing in a new way, making a difference and contributing to our culture by bringing out work that matters (and supporting those who make it). We're particularly looking for a mix of people with experiences and dreams that fall outside the mainstream in terms of background, posture or credentials. I think publishing is a profession, and I'd like to help others that do as well.
How much does it cost? I'm not charging a fee. Running a workshop is a powerful exercise, and I'll probably learn as much as you will. You'll need to pay your way here and find a place to stay, so I figure you'll have some skin in the game. Not everything is about making a profit. Maybe we'll even change a few lives.
Can you do it remotely, or turn it into something bigger? Not right now, sorry.
What do you know about publishing? Well, I've been publishing books, software, music, courses and even action figures for more than thirty years. Here are some highlights. This seminar follows on from the SAMBA, the FeMBA, the Agenda session and other intensives I've hosted over the years.
If you're interested, please apply right away. The deadline is really soon, and we never admit the last four people who apply to anything we do.
Assumption: Some people love what you do. They love your product, your service, the way you do your work (if that's not true, this post isn't for you. You have a more significant problem to work on first).
So, how to understand it when someone hates what you do? When they post a one-star review, or cross the street to avoid your shop, or generally are unhappy with the very same thing that other people love?
It's not for them.
They want something you don't offer. Or they want to buy it from someone who isn't you. Or they don't understand what it's for or how or why you do it.
Some of these things you can address by telling a story more clearly, some you can't.
Either way, right now, they're telling you one thing: It's not for them.
Okay, thanks for letting us know.
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