Working from home? Here’s some reading material

The weather is spectacular1 in Kitchener/Waterloo today – the roads are icy, the weather is cold – and I seem to be suffering from a fantastic bout of congestion and coughing. Yes, I know my personal health doesn’t necessarily warrant mention in a weather report, however it is impacting my normally cheerful demeanor.

Anyway, today on Presentation Zen I read an interesting commentary on The Cluetrain Manifesto, a book that highlights some of the more common-sense philosophies that permeate the online consumer world. Cluetrain first made my "to read" list about two years ago, and today I realized I never got around to reading it. I’ve since bookmarked it, and I promize to post any juicy tidbits that I come across.

In the meantime, here is my version of Presentation Zen’s top-10 theses from the book’s 96 theses. Introducing my top 5.

  1. Companies need to realize their markets are often laughing. At them.
    This is one of my favourites because I think it speaks to my appreciation of self-deprecating humour, and the idea that it’s never a good thing to take yourself too seriously. There’s humour and a little bit of foolishness in everything we do and I think it’s important to remember that our clients may not always place importance on those things we find important.
  2. Companies attempting to "position" themselves need to take a position. Optimally, it should relate to something their market actually cares about.
    This speaks to my earlier post about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and corporations and their founders taking positions on things they believe in rather than just avoiding making public statements.
  3. We are immunne to advertising. Just forget it.
    I like this one because I disagree with it. Although yes – consumers are becoming more savvy and careful with their selections, I disagree with the idea that people are immune to advertising – there are scads and scads of research studies on the impact of advertising, and the results companies get are irrefutable.
  4. Companies that assume online markets are the same markets that used to watch their ads on television are kidding themselves
    I couldn’t agree with this more. The online consumer is much more fickle than traditional consumers, however I believe they are also much more likely to be fiercely loyal?- this is because when they make a selection, it is more often than not based on their own research and conclusions, rather than a spur-of-the-moment snap decision based off an advert.
  5. Most marketing programs are based on the fear that the market might see what’s really going on inside the company.
    This one I identify with because it speaks to what we’re trying to build at Lewis Media – in an ideal consumer-supplier relationship, the supplier can open their doors and welcome their clients in because they know they have their house in order. I do believe that a lot of companies can’t do that comfortably, and I know that it’s something we strive to do.

Please keep in mind, however, that my above selection is a "before" snapshot of my opinions before I read the book. I’ll see how they change afterwards.

1 I have been known to make liberal use of sarcasm from time to time.


VP HCM Products at NetSuite and Founder of TribeHR and Lewis Media. Waterloo Region Enthusiast and active volunteer.

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