You know more than me

I’m a firm believer that we’re all much smarter collectively than we are individually. I believe that any business that truly opens itself up and becomes transparent and honestly seeks the advice of its clients/vendors/partners will be much more successful than the business that tries to hunker down and do everything on their own.

In fact, I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is…in a way. I’m issuing an open invitation to you to tell me how to run my business. Look over my site, rip it apart, tell me what needs to change. Everything is fair game from site design to product pricing to body copy. Let’s hear what you have to say.

McNice?!?!

Here’s my attempt at a Seth Godin-style post (I’m just missing the cell phone snapshot…will add later if I can figure it out). As I left the McDonalds drive-through this afternoon with my dollar-menu sandwich, I saw a sign that really impressed me. It said, “We know you have other options. Thank you for choosing McDonalds today.”

I was amazed. How cool is that? Sure it’s only a metal sign. Most people probably never notice it. But probably McDonalds spent about $50 bucks (or something) for the sign and more to keep it clean. At least that’s something. Why don’t more companies do that?

Leave your personality at the door

Who decided that companies can’t have a personality. Sure if you’re selling a product or service directly to consumers (read: families or individuals) you can do funny stuff like pick on cavemen or throw a truck down a mountain. But for some reason, if you’re selling a service to another business, you’ve got to drown your sense of humor and start using words like, “actionable solutions” and “return on investment”. Are there not people working for these companies that might actually appreciate some humor now and again?

I’m interested in your thoughts. Are there any business-to-business companies out there that still have a sense of humor?

Get a Little Controversial

Yesterday, Google released Street View, a controversial feature of Google Maps that lets you really explore a city as if you were walking down the street there. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but some people have complained about individuals, license plates, etc. showing up in the photos.

Now I’m not here to discuss the ethics of showing people on the internet. This little project has generated tons of news coverage for them. Go ahead, flip on CNN, Fox News, whatever your flavor. I promise it won’t be long before they start talking about Google’s Newest Blunder. But look what this has done for Google. With almost no effort on Google’s part, millions of people have been notified about Big-G’s newest product. And a large portion of them will likely browse out to it and try it out. That’s exactly what Google wants.

So how can you make this work for you?
While I don’t recommend tarnishing your company’s good name, I do recommend doing something different…something that will get attention. For example, my company is contemplating allowing our clients to underpay us if they’re not satisfied with our services. It’s controversial in a great way. In fact, when most people hear the news, they’ll likely not believe it. They’ll think there’s a catch. But they just might spend a minute or two looking into it.