Saturday, October 07, 2006

San Francisco, Berkeley, Hell

Since I've been hating on San Francisco for a while, I thought I'd toss in a changeup by quoting my buddy Seamus on Berkeley:

San Francisco is that unstable, self-obsessed friend of yours that you can't ditch because she's fun and crazy and so damn HOT.

Berkeley is her schizophrenic, funky-smelling brother who long ago ceased his futile attempts at carving out a place in civilized society, in the belief that society was really the crazy one.

To which I'd add that Santa Cruz is their bearded, hallucinating, transsexual uncle who happens to live in a sweet beach house.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Quote Of The Day: Childish Things

“When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
--C. S. Lewis

Thanks to Gretchen Rubin for the pointer!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wanted: Super-Designer

My company is looking to refresh its Web GUI, and needs a super-designer to give us the sizzle to match the steak of our functionality. Any recommendations? Normally, I love using Rentacoder, Elance, et al, but this time we really want the best of the best.

Fox News and Your Target Market

The LA Times has an interesting opinion piece about Fox News' 10-year anniversary. I'll let you judge for yourself whether or not you feel the piece is biased, but regardless of your political persuasion, you should read the following paragraphs:

Fox's real ethos is not Republican but anti-elitist — a major reason it connects with so many Americans and annoys so many coastal elites. "There's a whole country that elitists will never acknowledge," Ailes once observed. "What people resent deeply out there are those in the 'blue states' thinking they're smarter."

This anti-elitism shows itself in Fox's pro-U.S. stance in covering the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and its broadcasters' use of terms such as "terrorist" instead of "militant" to refer to … well, terrorists. Since the Vietnam War era, mainstream journalists have tended to see such blunt language and side-taking as unsophisticated, a betrayal of journalistic objectivity.

Another aspect of Fox's anti-elitism: Christians, far from being seen as lunatics or curiosities — as too often is the case in the mainstream media — actually get some respect.

The first marketing lesson to draw from all this is simple:
Market to your customers based on how they view the world, not how you think they should view the world.

The second is a little subtler, but is still valuable:
Find a market where customers feel disrespected by mainstream practices and cater to those disaffecteds. There's gold in them thar hills.

An great anti-example is the RIAA. Their customers don't think that downloading music is stealing. It doesn't matter how many PSAs they run or how many 8-year-olds they sue, they are not going to chang their minds.

This provides a great opportunity for new entrants to offer free music (either free as in beer, or DRM-free) and find other ways to make a buck.

I feel for the RIAA (well, sort of). People are breaking the law and destroying their business model. But guess what? You're better off accepting reality for what it is than closing your eyes and hoping for a change.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Cocaine, the Follow-Up

So you're marketing Cocaine Energy Drink, and you start to hear the following from the politicians:

“There are only two reasons that you would seek to use this infamous and insidious name to market your so-called energy drink,” said Councilman James Sanders Jr. of Queens, who organized a news conference at City Hall. “Either you are woefully ignorant of the horrors of cocaine addiction, or your god is the dollar bill and not even human life is more sacred.”

Joseph A. Califano Jr., chairman and president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, used five adjectives — insidious, disgraceful, irresponsible, reprehensible and disgusting — to describe the soft drink.

“This is a salted, heavily caffeinated, sugary drink with extra calories that nobody needs,” said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University, after reviewing the nutritional label on the beverage.

“This is the height of irresponsibility for any company,” said Assemblyman Karim Camara of Brooklyn. Councilwoman Letitia James of Brooklyn called the beverage “a legal precursor to an illegal product,” while Councilman Larry B. Seabrook of the Bronx compared it to “imitation cigarettes, which caused generations upon generations to become smokers.”

Do you A) express contrition and change the name of the beverage, or B) pop the cork off a handy champagne bottle, then call you suppliers and triple your order while uttering a silent thanks to the knuckleheads who just got your little energy drink in the New York Times?

The last paragraph of the story tells you all you need to know:

Rupert Jee, owner of Hello Deli in Midtown, one of the five retailers listed on Cocaine’s Web site, said, “They did, in fact, list our name without authorization.” But Mr. Jee said he was inclined to continue selling the beverage.

Frickin' brilliant. Note to self--be sure to send a press release about Crystal Meth Energy Bars to every Congressman in the country who is up for re-election.

Quote Of The Day: The Doing

The reward of the doing must be the doing.
--Maya Angelou