Kmart, Seth Godin and all that Ship

You know the first-grader in you laughs every time you hear this commercial. Kmart – Ship My Pants Commercial   S H I P, after all, is a four letter word. For years, Seth Godin has admonished his followers to “SHIP! Go make something happen.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge Godin fan, but here’s the deal: some people are all ship, no substance. “The only purpose of starting is to finish, and while the projects we do are never really finished, they must ship.” Linchpin “Starting means you are going to finish. If it doesn’t ship, you’ve failed. You haven’t poked the box, if the box doesn’t realize it’s been poked.” Poke the Box Every book that Godin has written since Linchpin is full of ship, and the message is undoubtedly important, to some. Not every product should ship without a little more moron testing (i.e. yard darts)….

Why the Customer is NOT Always Right.

It’s more than just a voice in your head. The resistance is lurking in every decision that we make, and every conversation, in every great innovation. Most commonly, the resistance says “that will never work,” But the resistance will also sometimes say “we must do it this way.” A few years ago, during the merger between the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., the company completely changed its menu: Revolution of 2003: Hardee’s decided to pare down its menu and focus on the hearty 1/3-, 1/2- and 2/3-pound Thickburger line. Made with 100% Angus beef, Thickburgers established Hardee’s as a leader in the quick-service industry in both quality and taste. Before 2003, Hardee’s served fried chicken, burgers, barbecue and anything else that you can imagine–anything their customers “may” want. The general product offering would suggest that Hardee’s thought that if they offer a little bit of the products that everyone else offered, there would be no…

Help! Should Seth Hire Me?

Occasionally, we get the opportunity to be very bold, very audacious, and, well very dumb. Now, it seems that I have one of those opportunities. Let me explain. Seth Godin has been one of my favorite thinkers and writers for years. His writings have influenced a number of decisions that I have made, and his teachings I have applied professionally since launching on my own earlier this year. He is truly one of the great thinkers in the business realm. Yesterday, he offered to mentor a few people in his office for six months, in lieu of an MBA. If I had just graduated college, or even just earned my law degree, I would have been the first in line for this opportunity, but I am two years out of law school, starting a new company, and expecting our third child in February. Now, is not what I would consider…

Luck, Ambition, or Destiny

Reading this post by Seth today, I thought that the “reviewer” raises a very interesting point about luck in life’s success. In response, I liked Seth’s response: But I can’t imagine how lonely and depressing it would be to view myself as nothing but a pinball, batted around by forces over which I have no influence. Unfortunately, I can’t really agree with either. I simply don’t believe in the randomity nor my ability in life to overcome  odds. It seems that success or failure is somehow outside myself.  I agree that I would rather be pressing my nose to the grindstone and receive a windfall than sitting on the couch waiting for a never-realized miracle, but what about those (like my brother) that have always done the right things in life but apparently get screwed? I do believe in prosperity and oddly enough suffering.  I  believe that my investments pay…

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