Archives for: December 2008

The Key to Success in 8 Words

This is the holy grail for entrepreneurs and employees. How to be successful.

I have thought long about the key to success and I have been asked often about what makes people successful. I have my own credo (maybe for another post) but I found this video to be pretty close to what I believe the keys to succes are. A video well worth spending 4 minutes watching.

Seth Godin blogged about the same topic this week . malcom Gladwell wrote about 10,000 hours of effort being the magic number for being successful. Seth disagrees.

“You win when you become the best in the world, however ‘best’ and ‘world’ are defined by your market. In many mature markets, it takes 10,000 hours of preparation to win because most people give up after 5,000 hours. That’s the only magic thing about 10k… it’s a hard number to reach, so most people bail.

Yo Yo Ma isn’t perfect… he’s just better than everyone else. He pushed through the Dip that others chose not to. I’m guessing that there are endeavors (like being CEO of a Fortune 500 company or partner at a big law firm) where the rewards are so huge that the number is closer to 20,000 hours or more to get through the Dip.

But, ready for this? The Dip is much closer in niche areas, new areas, unexplored areas. You can get through the Dip in an online network or with a new kind of music because being seen as the best in that area is easier (at least for now). You can get through the Dip as a real estate broker in a new, growing town a lot quicker than someone in midtown Manhattan. The competition is thinner and probably less motivated. “

It’s been a couple years since I posted this and I thought I should update with three words that I really like.

Fire, Focus and Faith

Fire is passion and drive. You either have it or you don’t. It’s what pushes you to work hard and to persist.

Focus is the wisdom to know what you want and to eliminate distractions. It’s especially hard in today’s world.

Faith is ethics, principles, the need to transcend, to help others, to do something meaningful.


– Time is our most precious resource. Use it wisely. Live each day to its fullest.

– The most important thing is that the most important thing remains the most important thing.

– Most people think money will make them happy, waste their life trying to get more money then they find it is not.

– Vices give you instant pleasure, meaning all the goodness is gone after it.

– Doing things for others gives you perpetual happiness that remains in you forever.

This is the holy grail for entrepreneurs and employees. How to be successful. I have thought long about the key to succe...

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Marketing and Social Hubs

Today a colleague pointed me to an interesting post that talks about Social Hubs and how companies participate in these hubs. I posted a loong comment that I thought I could share as a blog post on my own:


I think marketers will continue to do traditional marketing and advertising. But participation in social networks will be part of the marketing toolbox, and in many cases more important than traditional marketing. Jackie Huba (author of Citizen Marketers) calls this the fifth ‘marketing P’ – Participation.


You bring a really interesting point – maybe not explicitly: the social networks exist, and sites like Twitter and Linked in are simply tools where the people that form the hub meet. It is like a group of friends who can meet at a bar, at a sporting event or at a friend’s house. The group of friends is the social network itself and the bar or venue is the tool they use to interact. The community exists independent of the tool.


Like you, I am a firm believer in the power of social + enterprise content (what you call user generated content with professional content) and that integration deliver tremendous value to end users. But I have a different vision on how to get there: I don’t think marketers should moderate or editorialize social media. As you say, it is about trust and transparency – but this requires authenticity and personal conversations. The marketer can present both social and professional content labeling each as such: “here is the unedited content from the community, and here is our official corporate content”.


We did this at Microsoft where in our web properties and some of our products a search query will produce the official company “editorial” results, content from Microsoft bloggers and answers from the community. Social media is integrated on the website, technical support, marketing activities and also in the product Help system. Even the technical documentation is now a wiki.


Measurement tools and paradigms need to shift. It is not enough to measure community engagement or activity, maybe we should measure trust and sentiment. Maybe even loyalty. It is about winning hearts and minds.


About your question of how to identify the hubs? I see this as one of the intrinsic values of social media: it fosters the gravitation of people with similar goals and interests towards areas where they can have a conversation. Social media is enabling conversations across geographies, cultures and organizational boundaries.


Here is quote from the Cluetrain Manifesto written almost 10 years ago:


“Markets are conversations. Their members communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking…the human voice is unmistakably genuine… Corporate firewalls have kept smart employees in and smart markets out. It’s going to cause real pain to tear those walls down. But the result will be a new kind of conversation. And it will be the most exciting conversation business has ever engaged in.”

Today a colleague pointed me to an interesting post that talks about Social Hubs and how companies participate in these...

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