Cluetrain? or Hughtrain
“THE MARKET FOR SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN IS INFINITE.”
We are here to find meaning. We are here to help other people do the same. Everything else is secondary.
We humans want to believe in our own species. And we want people, companies and products in our lives that make it easier to do so. That is human nature.
Product benefit doesn’t excite us. Belief in humanity and human potential excites us.
Think less about what your product does, and think more about human potential.
By Hugh MacCleod
There is no doubt that Cluetrain’s claim that “markets are conversations” is true (for me), but they go a step too far when they suggest that any business person who not as utopic as they are is essentially an idiot.
I, for one, have always suggested in internet marketing / communications actvities, including website content strategy development, that people (companies) offer/add real value – something that improves the quality of the lives of the target audience(s).
But the reality is that most companies are struggling to cope with the shift to the new ways and that is perfectly understandable. It’s NOT easy.
Even though many of us think they could and should move faster, I also respect they have a degree of responsibility to their stakeholders (including financial shareholders) which means “slowly slowly catchee monkey”.
When their are more enlightened consultants who can really SHOW companies (rather than wave things in their faces and say hey, stupido, look at this) HOW to make the shift for their “personal circumstances” then we will all make real progress.
Anyway, my attention was recently drawn to the Hughtrain which I find to be more compact, more relevant and bags more fun (especially the cartoons) than the old Cluetrain 😉
Bravo Hugh MacCleod of Gaping Void and I think you are modest (and pretty smart) to cite Cluetrain inspiration – it’s obvious many other things inspired you too.
Here’s Hugh’s advice on having smarter conversations:
1. Understand why what you’re offering to do for other people is interesting, important, meaningful etc then start telling people about it.
Think about this one. Hard. If you don’t know, then how will other people know? Exactly. They won’t.
2. Live like you know the difference between remarkable and unremarkable, like it matters to you.
The more “remarkable” matters to you, the more likely that it will appear in the product you’re selling. The more likely other people will notice it.
3. Seek out the exceptional minds.
This is my basic mantra. It’s a good one to have. Not everybody gets it. Their loss.
4. Start a blog.
Blogs are funny things. Say something smart, people pay attention. Say something dumb, you’re ignored. We big media folk just can’t seem to get our heads around that concept, for some reason. Regular blogging can help train you to better discern between to discern between smart and dumb. Makes it easier to extend this to the rest of one’s business.
5. Ruthlessly avoid working for companies that “don’t get it”.
Yeah, you may have to turn down a few gigs, and that can really hurt when the rent is due. Still, anything that’s easy to get isn’t worth having.
6. Ruthlessly avoid working for companies that think they know better than you.
Luckily, if you get the whole “smarter conversations” thing, their “Yes, Buts” will just seem rather empty. Making them easier to “toss out like old furniture”.
7. Be nice.
Smarter conversations are fuelled by goodwill. Lose it and die.
8. Be honest.
Again, smarter conversations are fuelled by goodwill etc.
9. Karma is key.
But you already know that. Or you’re stupid. No middle ground on this one, sorry.
Tongues are dumber than brains, brains are dumber than ears etc.
and to round off that sensible advice: