Archives for June 2008
Or maybe I should say the marketing of art …
I’ve been doing a lot of drawing lately – gearing up for an amateur painting contest with some friends. And this is all on the lo-fi, and by that I mean on canvas, not photoshop.
Anyway, I’ve also been studying some of history’s great masters to get some ideas on style and technique and I came across J W Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs. And my first thought was … ‘Man, that’s good marketing’!
So let’s take a look at this great classic work of art (pictured above) and see what it can teach us about marketing …
The great thing about classic tales is they’ve stood the test of time. And so has all the great advice you can get from them …
- Never judge a book by it’s cover. Just because a guy is wearing a leather skirt and a funny hat, doesn’t mean he can’t still kick your ass.
- Never send a boy to do a man’s job, (Achilles’ cousin gets killed by Hector while pretending to be Achilles). If you’re at that “almost a man but not quite” age, just know, we’ve all been there. We got razzed for doing some of the dumbest stuff you can imagine. So will you.
- Never accept gifts from your enemies. Especially if it’s a wooden horse. Remember, Sun Tzu said “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”. Well, this is what he was talking about.
- Always give gifts to your enemies. Especially wooden horses.
- Make short term and long term plans. Sure, there’s a guy standing right in front of you with a spear. There’s also a guy way up ahead with a bow. Be prepared for both challenges.
- Burn your dead. Metaphorically speaking … maybe your house is full of clutter or you’ve got a list of must-do tasks sitting in the procrastination zone. Get rid of that stuff before it starts to stink up the joint.
- Never follow a fat king. Guys like Agamemnon care about one thing; Agamemnon. Good leaders fight at the front of the pack and they know the very real consequences of their decisions.
- Enjoy the little things. Once in a while it’s good to sleep till noon. Bear skin rug and beautiful nymphs are optional. But highly recommended.
- Nothing is absolute. Not even the walls of Troy; In time, all things fall; stocks, business models, civilizations. You should always have a secret back door out of the city or an exit strategy.
- Women. Let’s just say it’s complicated. Very, very complicated.
For some more amusement also check out 5 Things Every CEO Can Learn from Frank Miller’s 300 and From Bourne Identity to Leadership Ultimatum.
Stuff happens. Stuff goes wrong. If it doesn’t, then something really is wrong. And when stuff goes wrong, sometimes we have to get as close to failing as we can possibly get to see the right course of action …
A number of years ago I was driving down a highway here in Vancouver with my girlfriend at the time. It’s a 4 lane highway and there’s the odd light-slash-intersection. As I was driving, a woman coming the other way decided to turn left in front of me.
She started to turn; she had all the time in the world. And then she just stopped. In my lane. She froze and I was barreling straight towards her.
And there was no way I could stop in time.
There’s been a lot of chatter about Facebook going public. A lot of people don’t think it’s possible. And I tend to agree … or at least, I used to.
Social media sites like MySpace and YouTube usually end up getting purchased by bigger companies for one simple reason: they can’t financially stand on their own. It’s really difficult for a social media site to earn big returns because users are there to do other things. They don’t click on ads.
Cracking the Web 2.0 Code
Someone’s going to do it. Sooner or later. And of course there are many much smaller websites that are profitable. Just not IPO worthy.
There are a few reasons I like Facebook as an IPO opportunity …