Anything You Want!

Just finished a great book. Remember? It is the book I ordered directly from Seth Godin’s blog post without even finding out what it was about, who the author was, etc. Now that shows Seth’s influence!

It is a cute little book. You can read it in an hour.Picture of a boy sticking his head out of the sand on the cover of Anything you Want

By Derek Sivers – Anything You Want!

Derek is the founder of CD Baby, an extremely profitable business that enabled any musicians to get started in the world of sharing their music instead of waiting for a big name to pick them up. He’s since sold the business…and the story about that is also in the book.

Why do I love his little book?

Derek is REAL. He made mistakes and shared them. He doesn’t pretend to be this power CEO that must hobnob with the big boys. He encourages all entrepreneurs to follow what makes them happy. And, that will be a different answer for each one.

He is open in sharing that you will have to make decisions along the way that may make you less money, but will make you more happy. It takes guts to run a business this way.

So many great little thoughts, but one I really liked was “Being, not having.” So often we think we need to make more, grow bigger, and have widespread influence. Instead of trying to grow big fast, focus on enjoying what you do and creating value for your customers. Figure out what you really want to spend your time doing – do you like being out and about all the time networking or do you like to keep it small and manageable and immerse yourself in the actual work? “To each his own” so to speak.

One of his business mottos was to do whatever it takes to please the customer. Derek shares the story of how he changed his feedback forms to include a space for customers to ask for whatever they wanted. Someone asked for some cinnamon gum. So, CD Baby had a worker pick up a pack at the store when they ran an errand. They included it in the customer’s order. Another asked for a squid. They complied.  How awesome is that! You think you are just filling space with some weird request to get a reaction and the company actually gets it for you!

I’d venture to say that those customers are still with him. (-:

Go buy the book! It is under $10 and worth the read. Plus, who wouldn’t like a book with this cover? A cute kid stuck in the sand.

Reminds me of a picture of my own, but I wasn’t so happy. (-;

Link to the book Anything You Want on Amazon

Oops, I did it again – why I buy what Seth buys

Yes, I did it again. No, this has nothing to do with Brittney Spears. Yes, it has to do with Seth Godin and books. A few months ago Seth mentioned that he had a new book out in his blog post.

Picture of a boy sticking his head out of the sand on the cover of Anything you Want

Poke the box.

I knew nothing of the book until reading the blogpost from my iPhone email. Yet, I clicked over to Amazon and purchased it without even thinking.

Yesterday, my RSS feed delivered another blogpost from Seth and he was touting another book – Anything You Want by Derek Silvers. Did I know anything about the book? No. But, I clicked over to Amazon and bought it.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1936719118/permissionmarket

Wow!

And look – here I am marketing this book and I know nothing about it. All because I trust Seth Godin.

Do you make products or provide services that make people say “Oops, I did it again?”

Giving the good gift – to customers

Do you freely give of your products, knowledge, and skills to your customers? Future customers?

                            If not, why not?

We’ll probably be posting about this a lot, but over the past few years (especially with all the social tools out there) it is now essential that you provide something for free to your customers.

And, not just free, but of value – of value from the perspective of your customer.

Take a look at more of our thoughts and please share yours!

Analysis Paralysis and Shipping!

Today Heidi, one of our villagers, made a comment on the post we created about leveraging YouTube.

Here’s what she wrote:

“I was challenged by my business coach to do 21 videos in 21 days. It’s been an interesting journey as I have gotten over some of my hang ups about being on camera. Now I focus on the content and not how I look! The important thing is to ship it!”

Some of the marketing gurus (especially Seth Godin, Tom Peters, and Gary Vaynerchuk) talk about the importance of “shipping” your product/service as soon as possible. In other words, getting it out the door even if it isn’t perfect.

Apple perfected the art of shipping long ago. Over time, they were able to ship even when the customer base knew the product wasn’t perfect. However, the design was basically great and the fans knew that Apple would constantly (and relentlessly) improve their product each and every time. The early adopters want the first, not the  perfect.

In the world of design (online and offline), the term “analysis paralysis” is often used for those situations where the team becomes so obsessed with the idea that they beat it to death by designing, re-designing and perfecting for so long that they forget the ultimate goal – ship the product for people to buy, use, sell, love, cherish!

It is a fine balance between delivering quality and delivering the product on time. It’s the typical balance between time, money, and quality. Pick two. (-:

As all the gurus know, and what Heidi’s coach understands, is that it is time to get your idea/product/service out to the world. 

  • Fine tune it as you go.
  • Learn from your mistakes. 
  • Listen to your audience.
  • Apply feedback. 

Sooner or later, your product will add the value you hoped and may just be better or different than you originally imagined.

P.S. The idea for Nudge Village was an idea over a year ago and the Chief Nudger didn’t sit down to do anything with the idea until Thanksgiving 2010. Now it is a site that will hopefully grow and help a few people along the way.