Three meditations: something to think about, a “how-to” resource, and a marketing deep dive. Ommmmmm.

Something to Think About

One "How To" Resource

This edition’s “How-to” is more of a soft skill tutorial than a hard skill one.

Grace Wright is a great follow anytime, but she really hit it out of the park with her approach in this post.

Funny thing is, I think I’ve had the hard part of this experience, but didn’t learn the lesson. So I felt pretty dumb, but also excited when I read this.

Marketers often ironically struggle to communicate internally.

So, whether you’re a marketer, a founder, a senior manager, etc. I think there are some great tips here for increasing our empathy and level of communication with each other.

I’m convinced that there are a lot of people out there doing OUTSTANDING work.

But the system doesn’t automatically recognize that.

If you’re a manager and you learn to recognize it in your team… they will LOVE you for it.

A Marketing Deep Dive

Bringing the Magic 

Riffing off the quote above for a sec.

Arthur C. Clarke was the co-writer of 2001: A Space Odysseyand an award-winning writer and futurist.

He was part of Science Fiction’s “Big Three” along with Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein.

The quote above is from Clarke’s Laws.

The three Clarke’s Laws are:

  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I’m fascinated by these ideas.

All three describe ways we reckon with the unknown.

If we substitute any experienced person for the “distinguished but elderly scientists” in law number one, we might have a metaphor for the knowledge of the past.

Rewritten: When past experience tells us something is possible, it probably is. When it tells us something is impossible, that’s of no use at all.

As a consultant, that’s a key to how I create value for clients.

I bring the experiences of my past to bear on the problems of the present.

To the extent my experience solves a problem that is difficult to solve for someone without equivalent experience or expertise… my work is like magic.

Both tech and experience are reservoirs of ideas.

In my university course, I often define technology as an idea.

I like Peter Thiel’s description from Zero to One, where he describes technology as “any new and better way of doing something.”

I start with the example of an atlatl.

An atlatl is a spear thrower.

It was developed at least 17,000 years ago.

For context, historians believe the wheel was invented about 4,000 B.C., so atlatls have been around for at least 11,000 years longer.

An atlatl effectively lengthened the arm of the hunter.

This increased the accuracy and velocity available when throwing spears.

With one of these, you could outperform any hunter throwing with his arm alone.

Across Clarke’s laws there’s a theme of access to ideas.

Now think about the second law.

We only discover our limits by venturing into the impossible.

By testing.

Not huge gambles, but venturing “a little way past” what’s known.

One of my first consulting clients was Reese Harper, founder and CEO of Elements.

I remember being struck by how open he was to finding expertise outside his organization.

It was a superpower for him and for the companies he led.

Likewise, I’ve seen companies who are always for testing new tech.

They don’t feel bad if they try something and it fails.

They are rapid-fire searching for the best way to solve problems and operate the company.

In these times with new tech breaking onto the scene fast enough to give any user whiplash, Clarke’s laws remind us that apparent magical novelty should be a trigger to dig deeper.

That we should be excited about the new.

When the learning parts of our brains are stretched, we’re at the cusp of working magic.

Caption: Midjourney’s “distinguished elderly scientist.” Looks a little like Santa if you ask me.

That’s the takeaway here.

If you want to bring the magic into your company, find a way to increase the aperture for bringing experience and technology into it.

Get a hold of the ideas you need but don’t yet have.

Until next time… Happy New Year everyone!

 

Chad Jardine, Founder & CEO
CMO Zen

 

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