Archive for January, 2016

Stop thinking about avoiding mistakes

Stop thinking about avoiding mistakes

One of the common things start-up founders tend to do is spending a lot of time trying to educate them by reading tons of articles and video on topics like “How to avoid start-up mistakes”. Few examples here

5 Fatal Startup Mistakes — and How To Avoid Them
9 Brutal Startup Mistakes That Can Kill Your Business
7 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Up
10 Mistakes You Will Make as a First Time Entrepreneur

The real truth is, just don’t bother too much. If you come across these articles by accident, you can glance through them quickly, pay little attention to the headings and move on.

Running a business whether it’s small or big, comes with all kinds of challenges. Every day is different, every business is different. In my experience so far running BizTalk360 for 5+ years, you never know what surprise you are going to get next. It may be something like your website gone down, your competitor released a big update, one of your core employee resigned, sales team lost a big contract,  angry customer fuming in social media etc, etc. The list is literally endless.

In almost all cases you really can’t avoid them, you can only deal with them in the best way possible. Stop worrying about things that didn’t happen and focus on things that matter the most “Getting things done”.

Even though you are a small start-up founder, compare yourself with great CEO’s like Satya Nadella and  Mark Zuckerberg. We all have exactly same amount of hours in a day, you cannot keep thinking and worrying about endless things that come to your mind. Keep your mind clear and focus on what’s important.

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
-Jimmy Dean

Brilliant marketing idea to make people share your content

Donation Optional

Today I received an email newsletter from Pluralsight, a world renowned online learning company (some of their competitors include Udemy, – acquired by LinkedIn) about their virtual event for developers “hack.Summit()

There are two things that caught my attention from the newsletter and the website. The first one is, they are conducting this event as a virtual event instead of in-person one. That makes perfect sense, given the business model of Pluralsight they wanted to attract all the developers across the world, the only way to do it is by doing it virtually and being an online company it’s a bit pointless to do an in-person event, it will go against their core values.

The second thing I’ve noticed is their brilliant idea of making people share the content. I’m not sure whether they have done this intentionally or it was a pure accident.

For any marketing campaign’s these days the biggest impact is achieved by making people share the content and make it go viral. These days it’s getting harder and harder for companies to make people share their content. They need to think about new innovative ways in which you can encourage readers to share it.

When I saw this caption “Donation Optional. Not in a position to donate? Attend for free by sharing on social media, to help find more donors” – I thought it such a clever idea,  it immediately struck me the content I read in the book “The Drive” by Daniel Pink.

In the book Daniel Pink referred to the sociologist, Richard Titmuss’s most memorable and influential claim that the British system of voluntary blood donation led to better outcomes – healthier blood, supplied in a more timely fashion – than the American system of paying blood donors.

Richard Titmuss concluded that paying citizens to donate blood would actually lead to a reduction in donation rates as it would move the donation from a socially responsible act of altruism* to being financially motivated.

When you relate Richard Titmuss blood donation theory with Pluralsight sharing content concept, I feel they are connected. Instead of asking people to share the content for monetary benefits like money, free subscription etc you are encouraging them to share by working with their emotions and guilt. There are some things that money can’t buy.

In this case, the readers share the content because you make them feel they are doing it for a good cause (“To raise money for coding non-profits”) and second the feeling of guilt if you are going to attend this conference for free and not donating then you share the content to compensate (for the good cause).  Both the messages are very powerful and there are more chances of encouraging people to share it.

I think it’s a brilliant effort from a marketing perspective. There is something to learn from this for all business owners.

*altruism – feelings and behaviour that show a desire to help other people and a lack of selfishness